SEX AND THE STEEL CITY 28-page special issue inside www.thesil.ca
McMASTER UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWSPAPER / THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
VOLUME 80, NO. 20
Election results under scrutiny
Mary Koziol gets the vote
Mary Koziol’s election win has been surrounded with questions of foul play, including substantial evidence that would indicate that current MSU President Vishal Tiwari was involved Koziol’s campaign beyond the role of supporter. “It is correct that the [Elections Committee] received several complaints that Mr. Tiwari played a potential role in Ms. Koziol’s campaign,” commented Chief Returning Ofﬁcer Jonathan Scheiding. “For these actions to constitute formal campaign representation, it must be clear that the ‘supporter’ had involved themselves extensively in election-related debates (online for example). In short, any isolated comments are appropriate, but someone who displays an active and vested interest in defending or critiquing a candidate through a protracted debate, would move into the realm of a campaign representative,” Scheiding clariﬁed. Tiwari defended his position in a response in which he stated, “This isn’t a violation, [be]cause I simply was not on the team.” Board of Governors member Norman Kearney submitted a complaint to the MSU Elections committee outlining Koziol a campaign meeting on Nov. 25, 2009 in which Tiwari was present. The former MSU speaker suggested that this would be a violation of Election Committee (EC) rules. “Given that full-time employees must request a leave of absence through the Board of Directors (4.E.i), which includes the President, in order to participate in campaigning for a candidate, the President, therefore, cannot provide support for a candidate, publically or privately, without creating a con• PLEASE SEE TIWARI, A5
WILL VAN ENGEN/ PHOTO EDITOR
Mary Koziol, the new president-elect, will begin her term as MSU president for the 2010-2011 academic year in May 2010. LILY PANAMSKY
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Mary Koziol was declared president-elect for the 2010-2011 academic year on Friday Feb. 5, following a two-week campaign and a twoday polling period. Koziol won after the fourth round of counting in a preferential voting system with 51.8 per cent of the total vote. This year’s voter turnout was 22.1 per cent, an increase from last’s years 12.5 per cent. Preferential voting is an electoral system where voters rank the candidates in order of preference. The ballots are counted in several rounds; in the ﬁrst round, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. The eliminated candidate’s votes are then redistributed based on the second choice. The process carries on until there is a winner. The Silhouette sat down for a question
McGuinty comes to Mac
and answer period with Koziol to explore key issues regarding students and services and her plans for the future. Q: What issues do you expect to address right away? Mary: I think that one of the largest problems with being the MSU president is that you only have one year, so I think it’s really important to front-load your presidency, so to start off with issues that students are most concerned about, so looking at stuff like the internal review and facilitating the transition in terms of making sure that the internal issues are looked at ﬁrst. Q: What kind of internal issues? The stuff that is brought up with the internal review, so services, business, management. Everything within that domain needs to be well understood before you can look at additional features that you want to incorporate.
ability to students? ...What kinds of initiatives should students expect to see? Mary: I think informal accountability is important; I also think that formal accountability is important, but I think you have to understand that not every student is going to appreciate both types and you have to appeal to student based on what they prefer. In terms of informal accountability, I want to include open-air ofﬁce hours, Twitter—so just being able to monitor what the pres is doing with their day is very important. I think perception is one of the biggest problems within this position. If a student only sees their president for only ﬁve minutes per day, how are they going to translate this into what the president is doing? So I think being able to track how the president spends their workweek. Another example—this is more formal—but including logs of time.
Q: What do you think of informal account-
• PLEASE SEE Q&A, A4
Majority votes ‘no’ to exclusivity
1966 - 55.4%
SELMA AL-SAMARRAI SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
On the morning of Thursday, Feb. 4, Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty paid McMaster University a visit. As arranged by Political Science Professor Henry J. Jacek, McGuinty attended the third year Political Communication class. McGuinty’s visit began with a discussion regarding his principles of political leadership, followed by a question and answer segment with an estimated 170 attendants, including the class’s students and some McMaster faculty. Jacek explained, “I bring quite a few speakers to my classes because I want to bring in people who are successful practitioners in the political life.” McGuinty’s visit to McMaster coincided with his recent announcement to prorogue the Ontario Legislature for a week in March prior to presenting a Speech from the Throne.
1584 - 44.6 %
Abstain: 711 Spoiled: 61
Total Valid Ballots: 3550 Total Ballots Cast: 4280
SELMA AL-SAMARRAI SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
McMaster University students have spoken. With a majority vote of 55.4 per cent, exactly 1,966 students voted no to the McMaster Student Union (MSU) participating in any future exclusive deals with Coca-Cola. The option of pursuing a Coca-Cola referendum was pre-
sented in March of 2009 by last year’s MSU Vice President Finance Ian Finlay, who felt that the previous Coca-Cola referendum of 2005 no longer represents the current student population. Since then, McMaster Campus Choice has registered as the ofﬁcial opposition to any future exclusive deals with CocaCola, arguing that Coca-Cola corporations engage in unethical business practices in countries such as India, Colombia and El Salvador. On the other side of the debate, when the MSU and the University participated in a 10-year exclusive deal with CocaCola starting in 1998 the participating members received a total of $10 million dollars in revenue. However, prior to the referendum, MSU President Vishal Tiwari explained that there is no guarantee that similar ﬁnancial beneﬁts will be provided if an exclusive deal were pursued now. Sidartha Murjani, a member of McMaster Campus Choice, expressed his opinion of the referendum results, “This is a very small step in the right direction towards having more ethical beverage choices on campus. Not allowing the MSU to negotiate an exclusive contract with Coca-Cola will hopefully bring in some other companies... What we are hoping for is that local and organic beverages will be allowed to sell their products.” Ian Finlay, the registered side that advocated for the MSU pursuing exclusive deals with Coca-Cola, explained, “My issue is I still do not see enough proof to rob students of the beneﬁts which they would receive from a contract.” • PLEASE SEE REJECTION, A5
A2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010
THE SILHOUETTE • A3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Is ELM making learning any easier? This academic year the new E-Learn at Mac has been the cause of frustration on campus for students, faculty and McMaster staff alike. PAIGE FABER / FEATURES EDITOR
tudents, faculty and McMaster staff alike have been voicing concerns and frustrations about the current problems accessing and using the new online learning management system, ELearn at Mac (ELM). The ELM system is run by Blackboard Learning which is the same system that ran WebCT in previous years. ELM is supposed to be larger and more capable of meeting the demands of more classes and more students. Susan Vajoczki, the Acting Director for the Centre for Leadership in Learning (CLL) started by saying, “I want to be clear: no one is satisﬁed with the performance of ELM to date. We’re disappointed with the problems experienced and have been working hard with the vendor to correct them.” When asked about whether cost was a part of the switch, Vajoczki explained that the contract between the university and the
Susan Vajoczki, the Acting Director for CLL started by saying, “I want to be clear: no one is satisﬁed with the performance of ELM to date.” vendor contains conﬁdentiality clauses that do not allow her to disclose that information to the Silhouette. The decision to switch was made by a survey that was conducted by users of the previous system and nearly 2000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students, and approximately 200 faculty and staff returned surveys. In addition, key technical personnel and staff from McMaster University Technology Services (UTS) were also surveyed. “Based on these results, a committee of students, staff and faculty reviewed the information and provided input about the best product for McMaster,” said Vajoczki. Vajoczki explained that the reason for the switch to ELM from WebCT was because WebCT “did not have sufﬁcient capacity to meet the demands on our campus community in part because it was based on early 1990’s technology.” In addition to an updated system, Vajoczki explained that, “a properly functioning ELM system has increased abil-
ity to serve students and faculty and greater capacity to handle more courses...the last term (Winter 2009) that WebCT was used there were 500 courses on the system and it was at maximum capacity. During Fall 2010, the ﬁrst term that ELM was used, there were a total of 1200 courses.” Although Vajoczki did not explicitly say what the problem was with ELM, she did say what it was not, “the McMaster hardware and database have not been the problem with the current service interruptions that were experienced at the start of both academic terms.” Va j o c z k i said that ELM has been more stable for the past two weeks. However, she also added, “it is imperative that if you are still encountering problems with the system that you report them either through e-support at http:// cll.mcmaster. ca/esupport/ or by phone at McMaster extension 22911.” When reporting, CLL needs to know where you were accessing the system, if you were wireless or wired, what browser you were using and what you were trying to access. Students have been publically voicing their qualms and concerns about ELM on many different forums, including Facebook. One student in particular, Joseph Rayes, created a Facebook group called, “ELM, MUGSI, & SOLAR cause me physical and emotional pain” that has received the attention of over 730 students. Rayes is a ﬁrst year earth and environmental sciences student who has three courses on ELM this term and had ﬁve last term. Rayes said that he created the Facebook group because of, “the frustration my friends and I had with MUGSI, SOLAR and ELM... I created this group as a joke at ﬁrst, just to
voice how annoying the programs were. Soon enough, others started joining the group and voiced their complaints as well.” One of the main frustrations that Rayes noted was, the accessibility of the system, and the second was the fact that professors were putting important assignments on ELM. “Some professors are not sympathetic when ELM breaks down around the ﬁnal due dates [for assignments] but, realistically this causes so much stress for students,” said Rayes. Even though Rayes has noted much frustration with ELM, he does, “ﬁnd the discussion
ﬁles on ELM is easy, and that the user interface, the student side of ELM, is user-friendly. Although, Vajoczki says that 90 per cent of Canadian universities use some version of a Blackboard system for their online learning, Guelph has switched from Blackboard to Desire2Learn which is a Canadian company, compared to the American Blackboard. Nathan Lachowsky, Guelph’s Academic and University Affairs Commissioner from the Central Student Association (Guelph’s student union) talked to the Silhouette about
boards on ELM quite useful. It is also nice to have all or most of your courses on one site.” One McMaster teacher, Ken Viers is using ELM for his tutorials for readings, assignments, discussions and e-mails. Although Viers said that learning how to use ELM, “required moderate to good computer skills,” especially for someone who has not used a program like this before. “At present, too much skill, time and effort is required to utilize the resources successfully, an entire course could be run paperless using ELM if one had the time and determination to set it up,” said Viers. Even though Viers noted some difﬁculties with the system, he likes that uploading
their switch to Desire2Learn this fall. Lachowsky thinks that Desire2Learn “is a great new system – with a lot of amazing features.” Like other programs, there are suggestions and comments from students to make it better, but in general students at Guelph have been happy with the accessibility (especially for long-distance and online courses) and the layout of Desire2Learn, explained Lachowsky. Lachowsky thinks that online education is important because “online is no longer the future, online is now...online learning provides a new level of accessibility and accommodation for students that is just not available through the traditional pedagogy.” PHOTO BY CHRIS CHANG / SILHOUETTE STAFF GRAPHIC BY AVA DIDEBAN / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
A4 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Q & A with the MSU president-elect • CONT’D FROM A1 So what meetings are you going to, what phone calls are you making, so that students have a good idea of what they paid for in terms of student leader is being well spent. Q: What do you think of the fact that, despite this year’s increase in voter turnout, it was still under a one quarter of the student population voted? Mary: I think that there are certain barriers. In order to get students to come out for voting I think making it easier is one of the biggest things. Student politics is not one of the highest priorities in the minds of most Mac students and that’s something that is going to take years to change. I think that this year we start with a step in the right direction but it’s not going to turn over in one year and I’d like to see initiatives next year to address that. Q: What kind of initiatives? Mary: What I brought up at [the] debate is that the university of Ottawa ran a campaign called rock the vote which included a switch to online voting, and they able to recruit 40 per cent of students to come out. So I think that’s an excellent example of taking initiative. But a lot of it also comes down to the candidates because at the end of the day students are only going to come out and vote if there’s people who are exciting, who are charismatic and who have good ideas. If the candidates aren’t worth voting for, people are just not going to vote. Q: Current MSU president Vishal Tiwari came from a VP Education position and several other former MSU presidents—John Popham and Ryan Moran—came from a VP Administration position. Do you think that you are at a disadvantage, not coming from the Board of Directors? Mary: Not necessarily. I think that there is a large learning curve involved in this position, but I think that it’s a large jump from any position to president. I think that Vishal is going to give me an excellent transition and I think that that’s going to enable me to do the position at my full potential without having to think of it as a disadvantage. Just making sure that I take the necessary steps. I also kept that in mind when I was preparing, I talked to as many people from the organization as possible in order to address the fact that I didn’t have as much time within the MSU. Q: When do you plan on implementing the Farmer’s Market Idea? Mary: I would like to see it starting in the summer. This was initially the plan when it was brought up, by the two students who try to spearhead this initiative. I think that this is dependent on how responsive the university administration is. If all goes according to plan, I would like to have it running by July, but at least by September so that when students return to McMaster they can see that their student government has been working for them over the summer.
tion. According to the most recent Year-To-Date statements, the losses total $124,000. How do you plan on improving the bar’s performance? Mary: I think that this has to be an issue of continuity. I think that we need to look at initiatives that have been taken, what has and has not worked, I think that coming up with a completely different agenda with 1280 is a little foolish for a student president to do because I’m not a professional manager and this is a matter of effective professor management and when addressing this I need to look at it from a management perspective.
as some of the other candidates so I made sure that I talked to people who had been so that it wasn’t a disadvantage.
Q: What words do you have for the students who did not vote for you or for the students who did not vote at all regarding your [future] presidency? Mary: I think that each candidate brought a separate vision to the election and that I’d like to say that just because someone did not get voted in does not mean their vision has to die. I’ve already said that I plan to meet with all of the other candidates if they’re willing and sit down and Q: Several SRA members have see what ideas I might be able to inbeen critical of the MSU’s Public corporate into my own platform. I Relations department, stating that think that this year there were a lot less updates and less communica- of good ideas and that I was voted tion is occurring despite adding an additional PR assistant. How do you plan on addressing these concerns? Mary: I think that PR is a concern. One thing that is part of my platform is the introduction of the Communications Director Position, which might be something that I would incorporate into the five-year plan depending on the funding that’s available. This is something that I’ve certainly addressed as a key concern because we don’t have a PR department. We have a student life development coordinator and we have a PR assistant and to me that’s not enough personnel to handle the PR for a multi-million dollar corporation. So I’ve addressed this in my platform. There are budgetary concerns so I think that until we are able to do the needs-assessment and hire this position that the Board of Directors and everyone within the MSU and the SRA needs to take on communication as a very important part of their portfolio. Q: Would the new position be a part-time position for a student? Mary: It would be full-time. It would be a student-opportunity position. Q: Former MSU speaker Norman Kearney has said that, on November 25, 2009, he met with your campaign team, which included current MSU president Vishal Tiwari. This would violate section 4.E.i of the election rules. Is this true? Can you comment? Mary: Absolutely. I invited Vishal to that meeting not as a member of my campaign team but as the incumbent president. I invited him for him to answer questions about this role as president. I don’t see that as a problem and I think it’s actually a smart move, I don’t know why other presidential candidates would not take it upon themselves to meet with the president and to have him answer questions.
Q: Did he [meet] with anyone else or was it just with you that he met? Mary: I was the only one who approached him but I believe that he made attempts to speak with all of the other candidates and he even made himself available to speak with anybody at the all-candidates meeting to answer any questions we might have. My entire approach to Q: 1280—formerly known as Quar- this campaign was asking as many ters—has continued to lose money, people as possible. I realize that I despite the $400,000 in renova- haven’t been in the MSU as long
in because students felt confident in me, but that doesn’t mean that their ideas are not legitimate and should not be looked at as a way to also enhance the organization. And for the students who did not vote at all, I think that making an informed choice is the best thing a student can do. So I encourage students in the future to visit websites, to approach candidates to ask questions because it’s their money, it’s easy especially it’s almost trendy in this age to disparage governments and to choose apathy over engagement, but at the end of the day, these are your student fees, and you should be holding this accountable by voting.
year pattern of male presidency? Mary: I think it’s exciting. It’s not something I decided to run my campaign on. I wanted to be elected through being the best candidate, I didn’t want to run on the “vote for me because I’m a girl” card, but I do think that it is about time that we start to see some more positive role models for females in the government, that you don’t have to fill this specific cookie cutter mold in order to be president, that there’s different equally valid types of leadership and I’m really, really excited that I’m able to bring this to campus and there’s been a hugely positive response to it which makes me really happy and glad that I put Q: One more. Susan Fraser in 1988 in this much effort and it gives me was the last female MSU president. more hope and ambition for the year How do you feel breaking the 22- to come.
THE SILHOUETTE • A5
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Rejection of exclusive MSU CocaCola deal • CONT’D FROM A1 “McMaster was looking at large deﬁcits before even acknowledging the loss of $500,000/year, which went to the operating fund. I see McMaster looking at other means now to cover this, and it for sure will not be more funding from the government but rather more fees for McMaster Students.” According to Finlay, the MSU received an estimated $70,000 a year throughout the duration of the exclusive contract. Prior to the Coca Cola referendum, Norman Kearney, the Undergraduate Student Representative to serve the Board of Governors, explained that if the majority of students voted against the MSU pursuing any exclusive deals with Coca Cola, “then the MSU will not be able to participate in possible future exclusivity agreements between McMaster University and Coca Cola, and so will be deprive a share of rights fees and other beneﬁts obtained through the contract by the University.” John McGowan, Business Manager of the MSU, explained that, “the students have been clear in their messaging about exclusive arrangements with Coke and we will 100 per cent honour them.” The University is not bound in its decision-making by this referendum, and can freely choose to participate in future exclusive deals with Coca Cola. However, Roger Trull, Vice President of McMaster, explained, “We’ve got a wonderful relationship at McMaster between the administration and the student union and have had for decades and we want to keep that, so we respect the opinions of students and as a result won’t be looking for any exclusive contracts.”
Tiwari allegedly on Koziol’s team • CONT’D FROM A1 ﬂict of interest.” Kearney concluded that, “Mr. Tiwari’s meeting with Mary Koziol and her campaign team was in violation of the election rules (especially 4.E) and distorts the even playing ﬁeld.” Scheiding clariﬁed what EC’s stance is regarding the alleged violation. “The EC was not conﬁdent that the evidence presented could prove this beyond a reasonable doubt…. We would not assess a violation unless the burden of proof was clear.” “The complaint offered no witness testimony,” Scheiding continued, “and thus the complaint was thrown out on grounds that it lacked proper evidence.” In addition to Kearney’s claim, two other sources, who gave evidence under the condition of anonymity, provided accounts where Tiwari told them to vote for Koziol. Both accounts were before the campaign period has started and one even occurred in the President’s
ofﬁce, with one witness. tions had been proven, Mr. Tiwari Both would be a violation of would be forced to take a leave of EC rules in their own right, as they absence with the retroactive revowould be considered pre-cam- cation of his wage, residence, keys paigning and campaigning in MSU and cell phone,” added Scheiding. space. He also added that the enforcement An appeal of the election re- of those conditions would fall on sults would be considered up to the the employer, which would be Tiend of the week following reading wari’s fellow board members. week, according to At this Sunday’s Scheiding. past Student Rep“If the above ...If the allegations resentative Assemallegations could bly (SRA) meeting, had been proven, be proven through SRA Humanities new evidence, Mr. Tiwari would be Matthew Dillontestimony etc. this forced to take a leave Leitch wrote a would not change of absence with the prepared letter outthe election results retroactive revoca- lining his troubles as Ms. Koziol was with the current tion of his wage, charged with very Board, and speciﬁcresidence keys, few violations (2) – ally Tiwari. none of which were “Mr. Tiwari and cell phone.” considered major was involved in a infractions. As per campaign at a very our election rules, a intimate level… candidate could only be disqualiﬁed when the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer for committing repeated and delib- (Tiwari) of this organization takes erate violations or for any major an intimate role in someone’s polviolations,” commented Scheiding. itical campaign, it undermines not “That being said, if the allega- only the democratic process we all
hold dear, but the trust our students put in their hands,” he stated. The speech was cut short by MSU vice president (administration) Andrew Richardson calling it out of order, and saying that “the EC dismissed the complaints against Vishal [Tiwari].” SRA Science Heather Fisher believed that Richardson’s comments reﬂected the position of VP administration, and not that of the EC. Any discussion at the SRA meeting of a possible involvement of Tiwari ceased. SRA Engineering Matt Wright said that this was, “another prime example of board solidarity. I feel that there is so much that went into a complaint… something as weighty as accusing the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer of the MSU of being actively involved in a campaign team, and that being thrown out, there must be more to the story. The fact that it was ruled out of order is (one) completely inappropriate and (two) is the exact opposite of transparency… that should have been something that was discussed.”
McMaster forefront of solar energy research ADRIAN BUDHRAM THE SILHOUETTE
Researchers from Canada’s leading universities are helping the country become a major player in solar energy research, and McMaster university is at the forefront. Dr. Rafael Kleiman is a scientiﬁc director of the newlydeveloped Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Photovoltaic Innovation Network that incorporates researchers from across Canada. He is also a professor of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. The research being done hopes to make solar power a more feasible form of ‘big energy’; energy that
is integrated into every day usage. “We’re looking into designing solar cells that are higher efﬁciency, but at a lower cost,” stated Kleiman. The network’s goal is to accelerate solar research in Canada, bringing the country up to par on the global stage in terms of innovation. Solar power has already proven to be a viable energy source within Canada. “There are already a lot of applications for solar energy… such as on highways, or remote areas where you might want to power transportation signs,” explained Kleiman. While researchers work to make solar power more cost-effective, Kleiman acknowledged that
the Ontario provincial government has also been providing solar incentives to make the renewable energy source a more economical choice for Canadians. One such incentive is the Ontario Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program, a program that pays Ontario citizens for solar power they generate, and at a higher rate than the cost of electricity. While some other provinces have natural resources that provide them with energy—hydro in Quebec and oil in Alberta are prime examples—Ontario relies heavily on coal, a form of energy that may have adverse effects on the environment. This may be a driving force behind the province’s desire to make advances in solar energy
feasibility. Kleiman explained that if solar energy becomes more efﬁcient, it may result in the phasing out of coal plants. Solar energy is expected to become signiﬁcantly more integrated into Canadian living, particularly in Ontario, over the next few years. Kleiman anticipates that in the near future houses will be built more energy-efﬁciently, such as with pre-installed solar panels to promote efﬁcient solar energy usage. “[Solar Panels] will happen on rooftops, at small companies, and at McMaster University,” said Kleiman, who explained that McMaster is committed to supporting energyefﬁcient forms of power.
A6 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
EDITORIAL 10.5 years. Ugh.
McMaster University’s Student Newspaper
The Silhouette TheSil.ca Editorial Board Executive Editor Jeff Green Managing Editor Bahram Dideban Senior News Editor Selma Al-Samarrai Assistant News Editor Lily Panamsky Features Editor Paige Faber Opinions Editor Peter Goffin Sports Editor Brian Decker Assistant Sports Editor David Koots Insideout Editor Lindsay Jolivet Assistant Insideout Phyllis Tsang Photo Editor Will van Engen Staff Photographer Terry Shan Multimedia Editor Ava Dideban Production Editor Katherine Marsden Web Editor Jason Lamb Health Editor Sarah Levitt Distribution Coordinator Jonathon Fairclough Business Editor Simon Granat Business Editor Santino Marinucci Ad Manager Sandro Giordano
This past week, we learned that the MSU has sold The Short Stop to McMaster Athletics & Recreation. Who cares, right? Most people probably don’t even know The Short Stop exists, and when they’re alerted that since its opening in 2007 it has lost over $122,000 they would be happy to dump the failing store on Ath & Rec. Ask the SRA, and they might say “what?” It seems the SRA wasn’t asked. The Executive Board (EB) of the MSU sold it. While there are members of the SRA on the EB, they didn’t have an opportunity to tell others on the SRA and, more censoriously, they didn’t even tell students. Your supplementary fees paid for all the start-up costs of the store. Every hanger, every counter, every sign. Since 2007, they’ve run an operating loss of over $122,000 – which doesn’t include any of the aforementioned start-up costs. In a more dismal display of business sense, SRA Engineering Matt Wright informed me they sold it for $50,000 (to be paid over twoyears) and 3 to 5 per cent of revenues. Based on last year’s numbers ($105,000 in sales) and at 5 per cent of revenues, a simple calculation would tell you that it will take 10.5 years to recoup the operating losses of The Short Stop. Wow.You’ve really done it this time. Nothing escapes you, MSU.
I’m too angry to go on. Leave the rest blank.
Senior Andy Editor Grace Evans Music Editor Corrigan Hammond Entertainment Editor Myles Herod
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Re: Art History Phase-Out An official memo was issued by the Faculty of Humanities on February 3rd 2010 on McMaster’s Daily News. A phasing out of the “standalone” Art History Program at McMaster University was proposed. As of today, February 5th 2010, this proposal is still pending approval. As current students and alumni of the program, we have been “strengthening our commitment” to fully decipher the vague details of the official memo. However, most of us still remain unsuccessful. The Faculty of Humanities wants to demonstrate their commitment to Fine Arts at the undergraduate and graduate level by proposing a reformatted BFA program and potentially creating a new MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program. As strong supporters of the arts, we encourage and fully support McMaster’s new plans to create new opportunities in BFA and MFA programs but, we insist you keep the Art History Program at McMaster intact and continue to provide additional support. A minor in Art History is not a sufficient compromise! A minor in the discipline does not meet the admission requirements of the majority of graduate and professional programs in Art, Art History and Design disciplines, and the decision to propose it as an alternative is highly uninformed. Based on statistics from a recent Art History Program Review in 2008-2009, 62% of alumni who participated in the survey had pursued post-graduate studies after McMaster (Art History Review* 2009, p. 80). If the decision to phase the Art History program is finalized, students will no longer be eligible for acceptance into a Master’s of Art History program (among MANY others— never mind a PhD!) since they will lack the basic requirements of an Honours undergraduate degree in Art History. On a side note: this program has a track record of producing graduates who have attended prestigious international universities and programs including Harvard, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Christie’s to name a few. During the extensive Art History Program Review in 2009, the External Review Committee (four members from diverse concentrations) stated in p. 1 of their report that: “Major strengths of the Art History programme include the quality of the faculty and students and their commitment to creating and sustaining the best possible environment for learning. In this, they meet McMaster University’s mission and vision to “inspire and support a passion for learning” alongside “a commitment to excellence, and to integrity and teamwork.” The panel commended the McMaster Art History Program by stating that: “Indicators of quality for the faculty include their excellent teaching evaluations, high quality research programmes and productivity and dedication to service. Indicators of quality for the students include their successful and timely completion of their degrees, number of awards garnered, success in applying to graduate programmes
and success in their chosen employment fields. In all these categories, the students are very successful. The programme should be lauded for the fact that overall enrolments in Art History have significantly increased over the past three years. This, in itself, is evidence of its high quality.” (Art History External Reviewers Report*, 2009, p1) *Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like access to this .pdf report and other recent reports which contain statistics and testimonials about Mac Art History. Given this reputation, enrolment statistics and positive comments, the decision to phase out the Honours and Joint Honours degree in Art History comes as a shock to us and it is very clear that it is not driven by academic integrity but by financial viability. It is no surprise that the official memo issued by the University fails to deliver any solid reasoning behind the termination of this program. This will be a serious loss for the McMaster Museum of Art (MMA) and the Hamilton Art Gallery (AGH), where an upperyear internship course was being test-run in 2008 to provide Art History students, who are interested in seriously pursuing gallery and museum work, with much needed practical experience. If phasing out Art History is approved by the Senate, McMaster will be the first University in Ontario, with an established and Fine Art and Art History Department, to reduce the Art History discipline to a minor. This decision will have severe consequences for prospective and current Art History students who will most likely seek an undergraduate degree in Art History from another University which demonstrates a greater commitment to the arts. We demand to know how this “transformation of programs” will benefit McMaster’s Art History students and how this decision is providing “new opportunities in the arts” for future Art History students. Any quantifiable data that has influenced the administration to put forth this outrageous proposal to phase out the Art History Program, SHOULD and MUST be publicly shared with all students and faculty. On a personal note: we, as Art History students have devoted a lot of time, money and energy to finance our undergraduate education and we would like more concrete answers as to why our degree in Art History from McMaster University will no longer be considered reputable. We can assure you that SOTA and the Faculty of Humanities are slowly, but surely losing our support. Yours truly, Adam Belovari (HBA Art History 2010) Michael V. Collins (HBA Art History 2013 - Continuing Education) Laura DiMarco (HBA Art History + Classics minor 2009) Ashley Gallant (HBA Art History 2009) Elaine Marion (HBA Art History 2010) Desirée Valadares (Joint H B.Arts Sc. ArtSci + Art History 2009)
to the singin’ ranger, hank snow. ‘married by the bible, divorced by the law’ is an anthem.
to bullshitters and fluff. have fun next year people.
to vodka. yah, i didn’t like it either, but she’s been yamming in my ear for weeks.
to not going to the olympics.
For a full job description, please see www.thesil.ca The deadline for applications is February 21.
In the article “Cracking open the Coca-Cola referendum” (Jan 28.), the Sil neglected to accredit Norman Kearney, and used his exact words in explaining possible outcomes of the Coke referendum. The Sil regrets the error. The Silhouette makes every effort to be accurate. If you discover a mistake, please notify us via e-mail at email@example.com with the subject “corrections.” We will include the correction in the following issue of the Silhouette.
to ron johnson. wwrjd. to foreskin. i hear it keeps you warm in the winter.
to heavy d. come visit us once in a while. to the saints. seriously, i had a lot of money on the colts, and reggie bush sucks. yah.
THE SILHOUETTE • A7
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
OPINIONS Disarm army recruitment
production office: extension 27117
Colonel Russell Williams
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
Appealing to the violent members of society leads to an army of unusuals and anti-socials. Is it worth the man power? Peter Gofﬁn OPINIONS EDITOR
I saw a recruitment ad for the Canadian Forces the other day. One of those “the army is cool” deals where they bark like a sideshow carnie about teamwork and responsibility. Old news. They’ve been doing that for years. Except in this one, instead of showing footage of soldiers distributing food in Haiti or sailors conducting rescue missions on the Atlantic or any of the positive tasks that the military carries out, the entire ad was an artillery team repeatedly loading and ﬁring a big cannon. And I was sort of struck by the overt honesty of the message: “You will
be blowing things up in the army.” Of course, that message struck me even more because just the day before I had heard that Air Force Colonel and Trenton base commander Russell Williams had been arrested for two murders and two sexual assaults carried out in separate incidents over the past six months. And it still wouldn’t have struck me so much had it not brought back distinct memories of a high-proﬁle 2005 incident in which three army reservists beat a sleeping homeless man to death in a downtown Toronto park, also assaulting a woman who tried to intervene. And of course there is the ongoing trial of Captain Robert Semrau who allegedly shot a wounded Af-
ghani prisoner to death in 2008. There are voices out there that say the military turns people violent and angry and anti-social. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily the case. The armed forces aren’t a psychopath factory. But I do get the distinct impression that the army attracts some odd applicants. At the end of the day, there is only a handful of people in the big wide world who, in a free and peaceful country, would feel compelled to volunteer for armed service. It is not a normal job. It does not attract strictly normal types. I, personally, am ﬁercely uninterested in shooting guns and blowing things up. I’m not interested in conformity. I’m not interested
in discipline, wearing a uniform, and being yelled at. And no matter how much I like teamwork or conﬁdence or inclusion, the army is simply not an appealing option. But for some people it is. And I think it takes a special kind of mentality to be one of those people. A lot of the time, I think it’s people who want the approval and inclusion of a group, or the faceless unity of marching in ﬁle, or simply a paying job. And of course they’ve got to be at peace with the idea of shooting things. Or people. It isn’t exactly a paciﬁst’s calling. And that seems stunted to me. Deﬁcient somehow. Maybe that’s a self-righteous thing to say, but most of us gave up playing war
a long time ago, turned in our cap guns and stopped wielding thumband-foreﬁnger pistols. I started getting turned on by other things, like sports and books and learning and getting along with people. Of course, some people never get over that fascination with explosions and ﬁrearms. And the army knows that. That’s why they run ads featuring an enormous cannon. It’s a glowing phallic beacon to all the unemployed gun junkies wondering how they could ever get their hands on a weapon that size. And then every so often, we ﬁnd a serviceman who is violent and sociopathic and wonder why. Now, it’s a hell of an unfair • PLEASE SEE ARMY, A9
What could be better than med school? Joy Santiago
the intersecting trajectories of X and Y are pointless in this case. The answer to everyLast weekend, as I hunched over my thing, whatever everything desk in my ﬂuorescent-lit room and may be, is: become a doctor. struggled to study for my upcoming That is my revelation. I mean, midterm I was hit with a revelation. what else is there to do? Sure Well, one of many. it’s a struggle for me, the average This particular revelation was person. Sure it’s totally something particularly particular since it was the only revelation out of various particular revelations within my The answer to short undergraduate life that struck everything, me as particularly soul-shaking. whatever everything I have discovered the answer to life, to everything. It answers the may be, is: become a most annoying and cliché questions: doctor. That is my “Why are we here?” “What is our revelation. I mean purpose?” and “Who am I?” all in one go. I knew all this and more without what else is there even a second’s hesitation or doubt. to do?” The answer to everything can be approached from different angles: religion, science, serendipity, arbitrariness, logic and the outright “I don’t know”. I don’t see myself doing and yes, I I will say here that all these know everybody wants to become angles boil down to one thing. one. I shouldn’t even be contemIt has nothing to do with an om- plating it. Just thinking about beniscient supreme ruler, nor is it coming a doctor I feel like somethe theory of genetics or evolu- one is going to come into my tion; neither is it humanity or the room and slap my wrists. Or kick logic of being or coincidence. And me so hard my ass won’t even be OPINION
AVA DIDEBAN / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
within the vicinity of Hamilton. Of course, I am terriﬁed of chemistry, physics, math. And the prospect of all those standardized tests give me nightmares, positive thinking and my lack of actual experience be damned! So my revelation hasn’t really taught me anything. I will probably just plow through all these courses, endure the hardships and humiliation and eternally try to convince myself how glorious life will be in a white coat. There are bigger problems in the world right now and I should do my part as a human being to help. Right? Being a goddamn doctor is the answer…right. I am so full of guilt, full of fear for the future, so afraid of becoming normal and just having an average life. Eventually I’ll just break down. Maybe I’d be happier than I am now. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and I don’t want to carry it. I want to throw it down and crush it until it becomes a ﬁne gray dust. Maybe then I’d ﬁnd some use for it and use it as paint for my canvas, ink for my poems and the mark of pencil on my paper.
THE SILHOUETTE • A9
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Army needs a new ad style • CONT’D FROM A7
generalizing stereotype to say that every guy in the service is a weirdo or disturbed or overly aggressive. It would be an ugly and ignorant sort of sentiment to express. But we’ve had too many incidents not to question what the deal is with military personnel committing heinously violent crimes. I suppose my personal bias has really come out here. I don’t like the military as an institution. I don’t believe in weapons and I don’t believe in wars and I don’t believe in standing armies. But what I think of the organization is unimportant. The primary issue here is that for an outfit that is supposed to foster discipline and self-control and honour, the armed forces have a few more murderers and rapists and woman-beaters than a reasonable person would expect. And I’m sure that it’s a complex problem with many parts, or maybe just a tricky little coincidence. But for what it’s worth I think ditching the “fire awesome big loud cannons” recruitment commercials would go a long way to keeping out the trigger fiends. Unless those are the guys they’re looking for. I can imagine the army finding them useful. Of course, that’s just my civilian point of view.
Look for the Sex and the Steel City supplement in this week’s Silhouette!
A change of heart over Valentine’s
What is that? Is that happiness? Didn’t see that coming Peter Goffin OPINIONS EDITOR
It’s the time for commercially concocted displays of love again, that bane of the calendar-observing public. And, as usual it’s got the overwhelming balance of the population feeling like they ought to put rocks in their pockets and go for a swim. Which, just our luck, Hallmark doesn’t make a card for yet. And I get it, bud. I understand all that cynicism and why we’d want to run down a thing like a holiday based on loviness and togetherhood. Because who wants to be caught dead feeling happy about that sort of empty-headed stuff? That’s right: no one a-tall since we turned twelve and stopped handing out Valentines to everyone in the class.
And I’m normally with you guys on this thing. My natural disposition has always leaned toward bitterness, all snark and sarcasm. Hell, for a time there, I was downright mean, laying down cruelty and aloofness and stepping on other people. And it was alright. All that cynicism can make a person feel pretty good. It makes you feel tall, it makes you feel superior. But I also always found that attitude a little lacking. Lacking in kindness and satisfaction. Lacking in companionship. Because misery may love company, but it actively invites solitude and self-imposed ostracism. And then, not so long ago, maybe on purpose, but almost surely by accident, I found a reason to quit spitting so much poison. And that chip on my shoulder started to fill in and
some of that old cynicism started to melt away. I found that there was something more than putting things down that could make me feel good. Oh God, what’s happening to me? I’ve started thinking that maybe people can like each other and maybe it can be good and maybe a day like Valentine’s Day could even be sincere. Or is that too much? Yeah, probably. But I am starting to see a glimmer of the day’s appeal, and all that “glad to be alone” talk now seems a little forced to me, like people are trying too hard to convince themselves. It’s been a scary sort of a change in my outlook now that I think of it. Goodnight my old friend cynicism. May a thousand spiteful angels sing thee to a restlessly embittered sleep. I’ve succumbed to positivity. I’ve had
some of the Kool-Aid, and it tastes pretty good. And sure, I feel just a little sick with myself now because I’m getting this strange welling glow. Worse, I’m getting fuzzy feelings. But I guess that’s satisfaction. I guess that’s sincerity. I guess that’s happiness. And damned if I haven’t found all that stuff incarnate, and damned if I’m not pretty overjoyed about it. And I ain’t got no wandering eye. Guess I’m one of those people now. One of those perpetually smiling dopes who exist as a sort of hazy reflection of their lonely former selves. One those bricks who’ve come around to cliché warmish ridiculous holidays named after obscure saints. Funny old turn of events isn’t it? Funnier still is that I’m okay with it. Never thought it would happen, but I’m happy.And glad to be.
We need more ATM’s on campus Cassandra Jeffery SILHOUETTE STAFF
It’s 12 noon. I’m fighting my way through the student center rush hour, trying desperately to find a table. Pushing and shoving, my hunger headache and stomach pains worsen. But all is well, I’ll grab a slice of pizza or maybe some sushi. Then it hits me, I have no change! No five or ten dollar bills, no piece of plastic with my face on it that can swiped in exchange for spaghetti. All I have is that other piece of plastic that displays the infamous “TD” stamp on it. Well TD, you’re seemingly useless to me in my time of hunger. Although, I hate to blame Toronto Dominion for my misfortune, it’s the lack of debit acceptance on campus that becomes the focus of my hatred and famished stomach, not my bank or debit cards. Once again I’m forced to curb my appetite with saturated chips and candy watermelons. I blame my “freshman 15” not on Union Market or 1280, but on the person who decided debit machines do not belong on campus. Would they be so kind as to tell me why they
thought up such insanity? The nondebit friendly environment that has been established on campus has become quite an annoyance. Standing in line for the ATM takes longer than standing in line for food and, as a poor student living off campus and away from the parental funds, I don’t fancy the idea of wasting $1.50 every time I become famished. Which is quite often, so you can understand my predicament. Not only is it a bother that you are charged $1.50 for withdrawing your hard-earned money, but you are forced to take out a minimum of $20, which is ridiculous because you are not usually spending that much on food. Instead of using only 5 dollars for food with your debit card, you are forced to virtually spend 20 bucks. As we all know, the remaining $15 is usually put towards frivolous items like coffee and gum. The worst of the situation is when “insufficient funds” flashes across the screen of the ATM. Great, now I walk away embarrassed, head hung low, and guess what? I’m still hungry! There’s at least 10 bucks in there, but thanks to La Piazza not accepting debit I cannot waste my
last reminisce of money on Chicken Teriyaki.What a tease it all becomes! Maybe with a new MSU president something will be done about the lack of debit acceptance on campus, although I feel all too hopeful. The
entirety of McMaster does not bank with CIBC and I’m tired of 1280, as good as the lattice fries are, so get some diversity with banking machines or start accepting debit.
HIT THE TYPEWRITER THIS READING WEEK AND WRITE FOR OPINIONS firstname.lastname@example.org Section meetings every Tuesday at 11:30 MUSC B110
A10 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Activism requires Save the art history program partisanship Elaine Marion OPINION
In response to an opinion Brendan Ray OPINION
In his opinion article of last week, “Student protests must stay united,” Peter Goffin states that student infighting within university activism is problematic. He naively contends that we all share the same causes of “tolerance and peace” and that by fighting each other, we miss out on our “true goals.” Before going into details on the two cases mentioned in the article (Israel-Palestine fighting and the dispute between the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War and the McMaster Iranian Students’ Association), we need to first clarify the role of students in political activism. Goffin fails to explain why the views held by students should not reflect the diversity of opinions found in the general public. While you could accurately say that we all want peace, no one wants just peace alone. We fight for peace and justice (or human rights and freedom). On its own, the words are entirely meaningless and their use is patronizing to those who attempt to solve difficult issues. The second part of the equation, what is fair and right, is the complicated part, and disagreement is only natural. In this context, it can be seen that debate between students is a necessary part of a healthy academic atmosphere. Furthermore, sometimes the cause for which we fight is not in the actions of government or at the other end of the world but right here on campus. Consider the dispute between the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War and the McMaster Iranian Students’ Association. Calling for a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff is one thing, sponsoring a pro-regime speaker under the guise of a pro-peace event is another. If the event can be described by the latter, the Iranian Students’
Association can hardly be faulted for “harping over semantics.” Their battle is the same one being waged on the streets of Tehran. On the Israel-Palestine fighting, after attending several events hosted by pro-Palestinian groups with their self-righteous, historically inept speakers and constant forgetfulness when it comes to even mentioning the two-state solution, I’ve yet to see what cause I have in common with them. However, these events pale in comparison to the upcoming Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). Somehow accomplishing the impossible task of taking the already highly partisan Arab-Israeli debate up a notch, IAW deserves a special mention and denunciation. Protection from slander may not be a fashionable human right, but we can all accept that its victims deserve better. IAW seeks to turn the remains of the Oslo peace process and the result of a century of violent conflict (with shared responsibility) on its head. All mention of the various offers for Palestinian statehood made before and during the Second Intifada will either be ignored or mangled beyond recognition. If not, everyone would be able to see the event for what it is, complete nonsense with the loaded word apartheid; chosen not because it accurately describes the situation but because it makes for good propaganda. So, it can be seen that student infighting is not the problem but commendable. For those who still worry that apathy is our problem, I have a suggestion: when Israel Apartheid Week rolls around make sure to condemn those responsible in the strongest words. Do so for the sake of both peoples who deserve more than partisan history and chanting mobs. Condemn it if for nothing else than because you cannot build peace on propaganda.
“Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?” These words from Canadian author Gabrielle Roy succinctly capture the dynamic essence of human expression and interaction through the liberal arts. Unfortunately, the recent erosion of programs within the faculty of Humanities at McMaster University, such as comparative literature, modern languages, and now the proposed phasing out of the Art History program within the Canadian university at which the discipline has been taught the longest, moves us further away from a rich realization of individuals knowing each other, and towards a blank ignorance. Many may be quick to assume a lack of student demand via enrolment in Art History within the modern post-secondary institution that succumbs to market forces to justify such a trend in the Humanities. However, can any other fate be afforded to the School of the Arts whose faculty numbers have decreased by half since its creation and the fact that Humanities is the only faculty at McMaster University that has fewer faculty members today compared to 10 years ago despite the increased enrolment across Humanities as a whole? This is starvation by choice, not a lack of appetite by consequence. In fact, the findings of an external review of Art History conducted in May of 2009 found that “...the [Art History] programme should be lauded for the fact that overall enrolments in Art History have significantly increased over the past three years. This, in itself, is evidence of its high quality.” A lack of faculty growth and renewal is a more accurate and robust barometer of unsustainability and is the reason why this is the second time in the last four years that Art History has been targeted for eventual extinction. Indeed, this predicament of Art History is a symptom of the greater deprivation cause within the Humanities. In addition, one cannot help but wonder about the impact of
the phasing out of Art History on the longevity of the Levy collection at the McMaster Museum of Art (MMA), one of two major art galleries in Hamilton’s vibrant art community. Would potential donors of artwork think twice about the MMA? There would certainly be incongruence in Hamilton between its art galleries and no instruction of Art History at its flagship post-secondary institution. Where do we go from here? Despite the desire to phase out Art History, a substantial proportion of Art History students continue with graduate level schooling, and in many cases, Art History graduates of McMaster University are given first consideration for graduate level programs. I take seriously my responsibility to the constituents that I represent as President of the McMaster Association of PartTime Students (MAPS), and who in particular form a third of the Art History students – a disproportionately high number when compared to other programs with a much smaller percentage of part-time students. I promise those students to be resolute and determined in my support for their interests. To this end, I implore the University to ensure that existing students within the program are able to graduate, including those parttime students that may require the better part of a decade to do so. In addition, a fair compromise between the University and Art His-
tory students (present and future) would be to offer a combined Honours Art History degree so that students wishing to continue the study of Art History can do so without being trapped within a terminal minor degree of Art History. Failing to offer a combined Honours within Art History essentially removes McMaster University as a destination of choice for this discipline and encourages would-be Art History students to look elsewhere, such as the University of Guelph, Queen’s University, or even the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) or the ever-expanding Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD). Finally, a caution should not be lost amidst the enthusiasm for the newly proposed Bachelor of FineArts. An institution of higher learning should not solely focus on contemporary practice in isolation of historical context. Such a confinement to the here and now, void of historical perspective, robs the student of context and ultimately understanding. What next? Would the History of Health and Medicine Unit be phased out in the interest of expanding medicine? Surely not as the two should and can coexist at this institution of higher learning. In such an institution of higher learning where dollars and cents inevitably dictate academic offerings, the irony is not lost on me that Gabrielle Roy’s quote is on the Canadian twenty dollar bill.
THE SILHOUETTE • A11
THURSDAY,FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Iraq’s Assyrians are in need of aid
Victims of persecution, the religious minority goes unnoticed Maryam Somo OPINION
Chaos struck at 4:53 p.m. in PortAu-Prince, Haiti four weeks ago as the strongest earthquake in 200 years damaged countless buildings, including the Presidential Palace. The horrifying catastrophe has taken the lives of approximately 110, 000 people, as recorded by Haitian authorities. Following the earthquake in Haiti there was an immediate response of international aid. Several countries, such as Dominican Republic, the U.K, China, the U.S., and Canada, helped in the fundraising and rescue efforts. Canada alone has been conducting a military rescue operation that has included providing food, medical supplies, and a Red Cross hospital. There has also been more than $67 million in generous donations raised by Canadians. It is great to see the world uniting and helping the people of Haiti through this terrible crisis. It makes the world more connected and more whole rather than remaining separated and isolated which it often appears to be. But despite the positivity of seeing countries around the world helping each other, one cannot help but wonder why these countries do not make more of an effort for other crises around the globe. There are many horrible situations happening at the moment, but none have been
given as much attention due to the fact that they are not considered “immediate” emergencies. Just because a particular crisis is not as sudden as the earthquake in Haiti, does not mean that it is not urgent. One such less sudden but still critical crisis is the case of the Christians of Iraq suffering with Islamic extremists’ attempts to cause extinction of Christianity in Iraq since the war that began in 2003. Although many other people in Iraq are also being killed, including the Muslims, Iraqi Christians have been specifically targeted for death by groups such as Al Qaeda.The Assyrian Christians suffer continuous oppression in their aboriginal homeland of Iraq. In order to wipe out Iraqi Christians, a simple rule has been implemented by anti-Christian groups: convert or die. Thus, several stories have risen out from this current “silent” Iraqi Christian genocide. It can be noted as silent because not many people are doing anything to prevent additional killings. The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) has reported acts of violence against Assyrian Iraqi Christians including 59 churches attacked or bombed since June 2004, several priests and deacons kidnapped and killed, and a two-month-old infant abducted, murdered and then returned to his parents. AINA has also reported several young women kidnapped, raped, and murdered, female Mosul
students being squirted in the face with nitric acid for trying to attend their university, several children kidnapped and forcibly transferred to Arab and Kurdish families. These are just some of the stories
seen from the persecution of Iraqi Christians, there are several more. Therefore, one may only wish for support from people over the world to aid these helpless Christians minorities in Iraq. It
Assyrians demonstrate for awareness of their plight in Iraq.
Lawlerbone by Zach Ellis and Peter Hindrichs
is critical for all people to come together and attempt to help unfortunate people in various devastating situations all around the world. God bless the people of Haiti and also the Christians in Iraq.
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
A12 • THE SILHOUETTE
SpeculatoR The Hamilton
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009
INSIDE THE SPECULATOR A6:
Valentine’s Day massacre re-enactors and the women who love them.
Herpe sores: the innapropriate gift.
Thursday, February 11, 2009 F All you need is gloves. Latex preferably.
The Speculator presents, for your capitalist pleasure:
K E D CLASSIFIEDS
LOST - Butt plug - Antique 5lb. Chinese porcelain A family heirloom and excellent paperweight, last seen a fortnight ago at faculty club. Used mistakenly as winestopper. Reward: Reference letter and boost of GPA. Call PD - 519-555-1102 (Kingston) SWM seeks young people in search of a responsible older male influence, preferably with an interest in candy and parks after midnight. Must have short memory span and be able to swallow pills easily. Applicants with an aversion to blows to the head need not apply. Or can go blow themselves. In the head. Contact Professor H.R. “Stretch” Armstrong, Retired. ESTATE SALE – Furniture, bedding, flatware, silverware, and the corpse (minus the placenta). Deals to die for! Limbs that won’t cost an arm and a leg! Organs that require little donation! 65 West Oval, Westdale. FOR SALE – placenta, slightly used, highly worn. Nine months old, 20, 000 kicks but still has a strong membrane. Tires newly rotated, rust checked and emissions tested (And failed. Although it was emitted). Suggested for ages zero and under or alternative chefs. 905-555-0821
WEALTHY aristocratic fictional character type seeks depraved, marginalized, simple, physically and emotionally weak street urchin or wench to revolutionize his industry (wink wink nudge nudge). Must have working knowledge of Jane Austen’s complete works and no moral fiber whatsoever. A high fiber diet is recommended. Stay regular. Contact Mr. F. Darcy via carriage courier or carrier pigeon.
LOOKING for a female amputee lover. 2/4 limbs is the lowest I will go, anything less is unworkable. Must have one functioning hand w/ firm grip and light calluses. An interest in robotics would be nice but not expected. Call Bob - 905-555-0790 FOR SALE - One merkin. Unisex. Brown with blond highlights. Safety pin optional. Seeking trade for shag carpet swatch or best offer. Contact the Westdale petting zoo.
MODEL needed for genitalia-oriented series of sculpture. All pieces are to scale, and artist dabbles in bronze casting. Must enjoy working in intimate environment. Must be accustomed to intense heat and burning flesh. Perineum insurance a must. Smokers welcome. But not mouth-oriented smokers. 905-505-9505 LOOKING for male Ukranian Must have eyes, blond hair, torso, pure blood and Nordic features Personality preferred but not necessary. Must be tolerant of obnoxious accents, contrived national pride. Must love perogies. And menial factory work. Must be willing to give up friends, ties with family, and ones’ personal taste in fashion. Call Mandy - 416-555-6770
“What Did You Learn This Week, Timmy?”
“I learned that mine doesn’t stink.” Disclaimer: Stories printed in The Hamilton Speculator are fact. Any resemblance to persons real or dead is likely intentional and done out of spite. Opinions expressed are those of The Speculator and if you disagree with them you are wrong. And stupid. Possibly ugly as well.
THE SILHOUETTE • B1
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Women’s Volleyball knocks off Toronto, Sports B7
production office: extension 27117
Stepping into a world of stimulation SENIOR ANDY EDITOR
It spun around, lit up and the separate rotating clitoral stimulator ﬂashed seven colours, lighting the dim room with bright shades that reﬂected off of our wine glasses. It was the most ridiculous vibrator I had ever seen. It was a friend’s birthday, and we had organized a Fantasia party for her. I was looking forward to the event, but I left somewhat disappointed. I have many friends who are interested in exploring the world of battery-operated silicone fun, but are somewhat timid and
uncertain. I thought that’s what Fantasia parties were for: so that an experienced, knowledgeable salesperson could, in the comfort of someone’s living room, help these uncertain women to pick out a vibrator that would suit their personal needs in a positive, private environment. Instead, what I found is that the majority of products offered from Fantasia were more along the lines of edible body powder, body wash, lotions, ﬂavoured lubricants, and camisoles. There were a few vibrators, but they ranged from $50 to $170 dollars with very little selection. There were only four
vibrators offered at the party I attended, one of which was the ﬂashing, rotating model and would not be what someone new to the world of battery-operated solo play would likely be looking for, especially at the $170 price tag. While entertaining, Fantasia parties do not offer a comprehensive shopping experience for those who are new to the market or for those who are experienced. If you’re looking for something more than what Fantasia has to offer, and are disillusioned by grimy Stag Shops, there are so many sex-positive stores out there now committed to delivering sex
SEX&THE STEEL CITY Stores Information:
Stores offer positive sex toys to celebrate female sexuality GRACE EVANS
education and quality products. For 11 years, Good For Her has been serving the Toronto community with high-quality sex toys, books, DVDs and workshops to fulﬁll women’s sexual needs and desires. Founder Carlyle Jansen started out sharing some newfound orgasm success stories with her sister’s friends, and found that women were eager to learn more. After running a few workshops Carlyle created Good For Her as a comfortable space in which women could shop for vibrators, take workshops and celebrate female sexuality. In order to make the store more • PLEASE SEE POSITIVE, B3
Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair The Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto Saturday, Feb. 13, 12-8 p.m. www.eroticartsandcrafts.com Come As You Are 701 Queen Street West, Toronto 416.504.7934 www.comeasyouare.com Good For Her 175 Harbord Street, Toronto 416.588.0900 www.goodforher.com Simply Zen 143 Locke Street, Hamilton South Bonnie’s Bedroom www.bonniesbedroom.com
Come As You Are, a sex co-operative that brings the annual Toronto Erotic Arts and Crafts Festival, encourages everyone to shake it up this spring.
First image of a multi-planet system in human history Dr. Marois shares the path that led to the discovery
Planets orbiting HR 8799 Dr. Marois and his team discovered the three point source, three Jupiterlike stars orbiting the star HR8799, located 130 light years from Earth.
PHOTO C/O ADAM SMITH FOR COME AS YOU ARE
PHYLLIS TSANG ASSISTANT INSIDEOUT EDITOR
Galileo Galilei saw for the ﬁrst time another “mini” planetary system, Jupiter and its moons, with his spyglass-like telescope 400 years ago. 400 years later, Dr. Christian Marois and his team captured the ﬁrst images of a multi-planet system, named HR 8799bcd, located 130 light years from Earth. Dr. Christian Marois, Ph.D. and research associate at NRC (National Research Council) Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, presented the path which led to the discovery of the roughly 60 million year old, three Jupiter-like planets system during a public lecture hosted by McMaster’s Origins In stitute. In 2008, Dr. Marois and his team detected and took images of a star that had three point sources in close proximity to each other. “It’s the ﬁrst time in the history of human kind that we see real light from planets and other stars,” said Dr. Marois. “It’s the ﬁrst time we have images of other planetary systems like ours.” The advance adaptive optic system, which Dr. Marois’ Ph.D. thesis focused on, made capturing these historic infrared images possible by correcting in real-time for atmospheric turbulence introduced by different temperature layers, densities, water vapour contents and different wind currents interacting. The deformable mirror in an adaptive optic system modiﬁes and adjusts its shape in order to compensate for the changing disturbances due to earth’s unstable atmosphere. Radial velocity, deduced from a star or a luminous object’s spectral lines caused by Doppler shifts, was the most successful technique used by scientists to detect stars and their movement before the invention of adaptive optic system. Approximately 400 planets have been discovered in the last 15 years, but this “indirect detection” has its shortfalls. “One of the main problems of this technique is that you don’t see the planet itself and you cannot study the planet itself,” Dr. Marois pointed out, “you have an idea of its mass and orbit..., but you can’t learn anything [else] about it.” Even with the direct imaging technology, telescopic images are still only two-dimensional, distinguishing the distance between objects is impossible without further investigation. “Usually when you see a point source near a star... you are not sure whether it’s in the background or actually very close to the star,” Dr. Marois explained, “99.99999 of the times it’s a background object...and we don’t get too excited about that.” Against all odds, the HR 799 planet, the main star in the system, has not one, but three objects that are close by it. A question that Dr. Marois is asked often is whether the newfound multi-planets system is a potential future habitat for human kind. “It’s too warm to form any life source,” answered Dr. Marois. • PLEASE SEE INCREDIBLE, B3
B2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Galactic advances in astronomy
Scientists have first photograph of a multi-planet solar system • CONT’D FROM B1 Scientists believe that the earth took 500 million years to cool down slowly before life form emerged. However, H8799, the blue-white star that is warmer than the sun and is 1.5 times more massive than the sun, is “unlikely to form any life source,” according to Dr. Marois. Even if life forms could exist, Dr. Marois thinks that “they” would probably be very different from us. “You can imagine on a planet that is three times bigger than the earth, you’d have very different vegetation. Animals on this planet would be very different, gravity would be different, atmosphere
would be different as well,” said Dr. Marois. Looking forward, the “next big step” for Dr. Marois and his team is the arrival of a new generation of instruments, namely, the Gemini Planet Imager, which is currently in build phase and will be unrolled in mid-2011. The Gemini Planet Imager “will be a hundred times more sensitive than current instruments and will be able to image planets similar to Jupiter around nearby stars,” said Dr. Bruce Macintosh, a team member from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. The advanced imager will be able to detect light directly from
For coverage of last week’s Labour Studies talk on
an extrasolar planet and enable scientists to “use spectroscopy to measure the planet’s size, temperature, mass, gravity, and even the composition of its atmosphere,” as stated on Gemini Planet Imager website. Dr. Marois also hopes the NRC will continue to participate in the designing of the 30-metre telescope project, a collaboration between NRC and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, the University of California, and the California Institute of Technology. “It’s a telescope that is almost four times the diameter of what we have right now,” ex-
plained Dr. Marois, “and with that telescope, you can imagine pushing the adaptive optic system to a point to be able to see directly [an] earthlike planet.” Dr. Marois continued, “A second possible option would be to launch an optimized telescope in space.” The hope is to capture much clearer images, showing vegetation and living condition of other planets, with a space-based telescope without earth’s atmosphere disturbance. “We want to take more images of the [planetary] system...to look for more...to study these planets and to learn as much as we can…and if we find more, we
can then compare [to see whether] they are alike, or If there are different versions…” said Dr. Marois. “The next 20 years would be extremely interesting.” The Origins Institute at McMaster, which commenced its operations in 2004, is a multi-disciplinary institute that utilizes ideas and methods to answer scientific questions involving the origin of space-time, elements, structure in the cosmos, life, species and biodiversity, and humanity. On top of hosting public lecture and colloquiums, it also offers a curriculum, the Origins Research Specialization for interested students.
A positive spin on sex toys
Women and Economic Restructuring
by Jane Stinson
Please see http://thesil.ca
PHOTO C / O COME AS YOU ARE.COM
Penis pump petunias from Come As You Are, just one example of a positive sex store in the area.
• CONT’D FROM B1 accessible for those who are timid, Good For Her offers women-only and trans-only hours as well as providing in-store workshops and home parties with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced sex educators in Canada. Workshops include topics like “Giving Great Head” and “Bigger, Better and Multiples: Orgasms for Women.” After meeting the vibrant Carlyle at the latter workshop, I would confidently recommend it to any woman looking to improve and understand her orgasms. A similar store in Toronto is Come As You Are, a sex co-operative on Queen Street West. Come As You Are believes “you should have the kind of sex you want, not settle for the kind you (ought to) have.” The store is a clean, boutique-style space with books, toys, and shelves of alternative lubricants, massage oils and condoms. Similar to Good For Her, you won’t find the drug-store variety condoms and lubricants here, but more consumer specific products, such as Good Clean Love Lube, which is made from organically sourced ingredients, is water-
based, condom compatible, vegan and free of petro-chemicals. I’ve tried, and thoroughly enjoyed, their Imagination massage oil, which is vegan, scent-free, doesn’t stain sheets and all natural, made from sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, vitamin E oil, and a dispersing agent that comes from coconut. With an extensive online store and a wide range of sex toys available, everyone from the timid to the experienced will find something here. Workshops include “Sex, Breath and the Pelvic Floor” and the “Hands-On Rope Bondage Workshop,” with the famous sexeducator Midori. Come As You Are annually presents the Toronto Erotic Arts and Crafts Festival featuring erotic crafters and artists, zinesters, knitters and their erotic objects for a fair featuring DIY sex and romantic culture. While it might be safe to say to expect the unexpected, some of the paraphernalia you might see includes homoerotic light switch plates, homemade bondage gear, erotic photography, underwear and lingerie, buttons featuring the
Kama Sutra, kinky sock monkeys, and unique men’s products such as an all-natural masturbation cream. Check it out right before Valentine’s Day at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Unfortunately, Hamilton is not home to much beyond the pedestrian Stag Shops and drugstore lines of condom brand warming lubricants. On Locke Street, however, if you stop in at Simply Zen there are some sex products including all-natural lubricants and Shunga brand products. And there’s Bonnie’s Bedroom, an online store featuring lingerie, novelty gifts and various other sex products. The vivacious founder, Bonnie Hamilton, aims to provide customers with a fun, comfortable experience by offering great products and a menu of home parties including men’s parties, fetish parties and role-playing parties. While sleazy Stag Shops and adult book stores still fulfill a societal need, there are plenty of alternative, sex-positive and educational institutions that aren’t too far from home. Take a look around, and I promise you’ll be coming back for more.
THE SILHOUETTE • B3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Be Aware Fair 2010
Mac campus groups collaborate to reduce stigma around mental illness LINDSAY JOLIVET INSIDEOUT EDITOR
Feb. 23 to Feb. 25 marks the first annual Mental Health & Wellness Fair (MHWF), entitled the “Be Aware Fair: Taking the Sting out of Stigma.” The event will include three days of scheduled events and the creation of a community mural throughout the fair. Guest lecturers from the Center for Student Development (CSD) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will discuss the importance of mental health and issues of stigma surrounding mental illness in our society. The event promises to make the MUSC Atrium come to life, with a live DJ and performances from the MAC Breakdancing Club and Contemporary Dance Company. However, the Mental Health & Wellness Team at CSD has bigger goals than entertainment. In collaboration with a number of MSU Clubs and groups, the team hopes to increase awareness of mental illness and reduce stigma, motivate students and staff to consider their own mental health more closely, and make enough of an impact for the fair to become an annual event. “While our goals may seem ambitious, we don’t believe they are unachievable,” said Maria Deanna Ierullo, spokesperson for the Mental Health & Wellness Team. “We recognize that one event will not alone completely eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental illness; however, we believe that it is a big step in the right direction.”
At the very least, Ierullo hopes students and staff at McMaster will feel comfortable in the fair environment and ask questions to inform themselves about their mental health. “Mental illness affects everyone, whether directly or indirectly, and if the Be Aware Fair is able to help or support even one individual struggling with mental health concerns then our efforts will have been successful.” The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and the Student Services Committee are sponsoring the fair. Dr. James A. Bourgeois, Professor and Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences felt mental health was a particularly important issue for students. “Many psychiatric illnesses have onset in teens/early 20s, so students of this age group may be affected. Psychiatric services need to be available for students who need them,” he said. Dr. Bourgeois stated that his department is pleased to have an active role in the event and help with sponsorship and participation. He added, “We hope this increases awareness of psychiatric illness and (perhaps for a few students) increased motivation to pursue a medical degree and subsequent specialty training in psychiatry.” Associate Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Students Dr. Phil Wood also commented on the importance of this event. The success of the fair matters to Dr. Wood on a personal and professional level and he hopes to see the events well attended
and well run. “Mental health is an extremely important issue, not just for us, but for all universities in Ontario. I am the Chair of the Ontario Committee on Student Affairs and mental health has been our theme for the past two years,” he said. Dr. Wood feels that mental health has negatively impacted student success. Each day of the fair has a specific theme and related events. Day One is titled “Information Day,” Day Two is “Community Day,” the final day is “Workshop Day.” From a showcase of local organizations involved in mental health awareness to a film screening of The Soloist, information is available from many sources and in many media. Ierullo believes collaboration is a big part of what will make the fair a success. “Fortunately at McMaster there are many clubs and programs that share our goals and would like to have their message heard. We believe that by collaborating on the Be Aware Fair…we will be able to increase awareness tenfold.” Inspiration to create this event came from the Mental Health and Wellness Team’s weekly student support group, The Beacon, which Maria said has made them “greatly aware of the effect stigma has on those dealing with mental health concerns.” Much of this stigma is attributed to a lack of information. The organizers of the Mental Health & Wellness Fair hope to face this problem head-on, raising awareness and giving support yearly through this aspiring annual event.
Schedule Day 1 - February 23, 2010 INFORMATION DAY
Be Aware Fair 2010
Live DJ / Raffle & Trivia Games with prizes / Cotton candy, popcorn and cupcakes / Free “Stress Kits” / Creation of a community mural / MAC Breakdancing Club performance Showcase of McMaster Clubs & Groups: PHP: Mental Health and Wellness Team COPE Health Education & Active Living Campus Health Peer Health Educators PHP: Peer Outreach Team Queer Students Community Centre Student Health Education Centre PsychSociety Day 2 - February 24, 2010 COMMUNITY DAY Live DJ / Raffle & Trivia Games with prizes / Cotton candy, popcorn and cupcakes / Free “Stress Kits” / Creation of a community mural / MAC Contemporary Dance Company performance “Shave the Shrink” at 1PM Local Vendors & Organizations: Crazy Daisy, LHIN, Nikon Pals, SPCA Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences Jewellery, hand-made soaps, crafts, photography and artwork Movie night: Viewing and Discussion: The Soloist (6:30-9:00pm) Day 3 - February 25, 2010 WORKSHOP DAY Raffle & Trivia Games with prizes / Free “Stress Kits” Workshops Schedule: MUSC Rm. 314 & 315 (CIBC Hall) · 10:30-11:30- Mental Health 101 · 11:30-12:30- Anti-Stigma Lecture (Dr. David Goldbloom, CAMH) · 12:30-1:30- Art Therapy Workshop DBAC Rm. W202 and W203 · 1:45-2:30- Yoga Class (De La Sole) · 2:45-3:30- Fitness Class (Eva Redpath) · 3:45-4:45- Beginner Hip Hop Class (Shawn Byfield)
B4 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
THE SILHOUETTE • B5
Across 1- Earth Day subj. 5- Soviet labor camp 10- Up and ___! 14- Jupiter 15- Licorice-like flavoring 16- Ray of light 17- Blunted blade 18- Scoffs 19- Commedia dell’___ 20- Type of cloud 23- A Kennedy 24- ___ boy! 25- Warns 29- Excite 31- Loss leader? 32- Bran source 33- Uncertainty 37- Jute or ramie 40- Born 41- Collar type 42- Between 80 and 90 years old By Sandy Chase / CUP Graphics Bureau Chief 47- Before Crossword puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com 48- Actress Charlotte (http://www.bestcrosswords.com). Used with permission. 49- Stifled laugh 53- Mend 55- Dog-powered snow vehicle 57- Hwy. 6- Single things 37- Joburg settler 58- Renewal 7- Seventh sign of the zodiac 38- Area of 4840 square yards 61- Public walk 8- Between ports 39- Pace 64- Tropical plant used in 9- Develop slowly 43- Broad smile cosmetics 10- Demote 44- Hearing distance 65- Roman poet 11- Thrice, in prescriptions 45- Do repeatedly 66- Winglike parts 12- Chow down 46- Verdi opera 67- Eight singers 13- Marseilles Mrs. 50- Trifles 68- Track event 21- Seine feeder 51- Prima ballerina 69- Be sorry for 22- ___ Bator, Mongolia 52- Pay as due 70- That group 26- Defeat decisively 54- Choreographer Alvin 71- Boxer Max 27- Edible corm 55- ___ Domingo 28- Type of gun 56- Crescents Down 30- As far as 59- PC expert 1- Spewed matter 31- Affirm solemnly 60- Grave 2- Duplicator 34- Actress Heche 61- Chart 3- Exaggerate 35- Narc’s org. 62- Boxer Laila 4- Lecherous look 36- Canvas shelter used on 63- Back muscle, briefly 5- Joke teller camping trips
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Team Canada fashion
Awesome Olympic gear NICOLE PAJAK THE SILHOUETTE
With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics merely days away, the excitement of having the games in our Nation’s backyard is stirring up quite a bit of patriotism. Many Canadian retailers have taken note of the country’s support of our athletes and have jumped at the opportunity of outfitting the nation with red and white. From head to toe, Canadians can completely deck themselves out with Canuck inspired apparel. While team Canada struts their skills on the world platform, the rest of us can strut our Olympic garb, showing our pride while looking impeccably dressed. So when team Canada’s hockey game is playing on all of our television screens, the rest of us can don LuLulemon’s hockey helmet inspired hat ($24) as our own uniform. Or we could take a cue from Roots, and wear the Canada logo on our back everyday with their mini backpack ($38). Perhaps us girls can look to our sporty side and slip on a pair of Aritzia’s classic knee socks embellished with the Vancouver Olympic logo ($12 per pair). While the fashion industry usually doesn’t look to the sports pages for inspiration, this is one trend all Canadians can look to add to their closets. Aritzia Knee socks $12 per pair
PHOTO C / O ARITZIA.CA
PHOTO C / O LULULEMON.COM
Lululemon hockey helmet hat $24 PHOTO C / O ROOTS.COM
Roots Canada Mini Backpack $38
B6 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010
“Telling African Stories” celebrates diversity NATALIE TIMPERIO THE SILHOUETTE
The month of February marks a significant occasion in our calendar. Black history month has been celebrated for years; however, it is more than just an annual celebratory event. It is an opportunity to commemorate the history of African Americans and a chance to discover their distinct ethos throughout the world. In honour of this, the McMaster Alumni Association hosted an event at the Discovery Centre located in Hamilton Harbour last Wednesday evening. This event, Telling African Stories: Literature, History and the African Experience, featured a critical discussion presented by Dr. Bonny Ibhawoh, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Director of the Centre for Peace Studies here at McMaster University. Dr. Ibhawoh guided listeners through the history of African literature. Within his lecture, he referred to four distinct periods in the African literary history: the oral traditions and use of symbols that began with the origins of humankind, the colonial traditions, the nationalist traditions and the written word now commonly used in contemporary times. In relation to these time periods, Dr. Ibhawoh stressed that African literature isn’t something that is exclusive to African peoples alone. Rather, it is a universal phenomenon that prevails amongst all humankind, including Canadians. While African styles of literature are unique, particularly in contrast to European and Western styles of literature, Dr. Ibhawoh explained that “African-Canadian literatures are in many ways very similar to African literature...it’s also based on the oral tradition...so it’s important to understand that even when [it’s] written down the roots are [the same].” The theme of universality was central to Ibhawoh’s lecture in which he emphasized that literature mustn’t be thought of solely in terms of printed language, as we so often confine our definition of literature to that which is written and intelligible only to us, the West. In order to recognize the univer-
sality of African literature, particularly as university students, Dr. Ibhawoh explained that we must do so “by seeking and learning more, by participating...because they are human beings...and [we are all] connected. If you are able to establish a connection the chances are that you will be more proactive in trying to learn about a society.” It is within a university setting that we have nearly unlimited access to the available tools and resources that allow us to begin or further study of African culture as well as other cultures throughout the world. In fact, diversity amongst cultures is apparent when simply walking through campus. As Dr. Ibhawoh stated, “[McMaster] is becoming a very diverse campus...with not just students but professors from different parts of the world.” It is precisely within this type of environment that “makes us accepting of cultures and more tolerant, and that is something we need [as] Canada prides itself as a mosaic,” he added. The traditional images associated with the U.S. and Canada are the cultural “melting pot” of the U.S. and Canada’s “tossed salad” of ethnicities. This belief in Canada as a harbinger of ethnic diversity and a cultural mosaic is a fundamental feature of Canadian identity and nationalistic distinctiveness. Often, much of the world views Canada in this same light. Dr. Ibhawoh said that in Canada “you are encouraged to celebrate your diversity...I think that’s what makes Canada so special and unique. It’s a place that is welcoming of cultures and sees those cultures as not just being tolerated but part of what the Canadian experience is...you have no choice, you need to make an effort to be tolerant and understand.” While the truth of Canada as everwelcoming of diversity has been contested, Dr. Ibhawoh’s perspective suggests some progress from our colonial past. Although the end of February concludes black history month, attribution and appreciation of cultural diversity may be continually exercised throughout the year, as members of a culturally distinct community, both within McMaster University and in Canada.
THE SILHOUETTE • B7
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
production office: extension 27117
Looking to the playoffs
PHOTO C/O LARRY SKELLY
Kaila Janssen (7) and the Marauders clinched the OUA West division with their victories on the weekend and will hold home court throughout the postseason.
Marauders knock off Toronto
Fraser Caldwell Silhouette Staff
Despite dominating the OUA standings with the conference season dwindling, the McMaster Marauders women’s volleyball squad had a considerable test ahead of them when they entered play this past weekend. That challenge came in the form of the Toronto Varsity Blues, a group that had been laying waste to the OUA East so emphatically that they were named as the overall OUA team of the month for January.
Swim team claims bronze at OUA Championship BEN ORR
The McMaster women’s swim team came away with a bronze medal at the OUA Championships after collecting 419 points over four days. The Marauder men also had a strong performance, claiming fifth place in the team competition. Held at the Eleanor Misener Aquatic Centre at Brock University, the championships also saw a Marauder team with the highest percentage of personal best times. In addition to the team success, Mac had 19 athletes qualify for the CIS Championships on the weekend, along with three OUA All-Stars and a number of individual medal performances. The women’s 200m medley relay team of Brooke Buckland, Alexandra Vanommen, Sarah Taylor and Meg Sloan eclipsed
PHOTO C/O LARRY SKELLY
Meagan Nederveen’s (4) outstanding defensive play has been crucial throughout the regular season.
a three year-old record by .46 seconds (1:58.22) to finish runners up to the first place, and new record holder, Western Mustangs (1:55.16). The team included two OUA All-Stars in Vanommen and Taylor, each in their rookie season. Taylor raced to two individual silver medals in the 50m fly and 50m free, good for two CIS qualifying times (26.68 and 28.61, respectively). Not to be outdone, Vanommen swam a 1:24.54 in the 100m breast stroke on her way to a silver and a 33.75 in the 50m to earn a fourth place finish. She will now swim at the CIS Championships in both events. McMaster’s third OUA AllStar, Frank Despond, finished second in the 1500m free with a time of 15:59.85 and qualified for the CIS Championships with a • PLEASE SEE WOMEN, B9
However, after what was surely the match of the year on Sunday, the Marauders put an end to their rivals’ hot streak and sealed their spot at the summit of the Ontario conference. The McMaster women edged Toronto in five gruelling sets (25-22, 26-28, 25-23, 18-25, 15-10) two days after absolutely destroying the Guelph Gryphons (25-18, 25-20, 25-12). With the wins, McMaster clinches first place in the OUA West as well as the overall OUA points lead. In addition, the landmark Sunday victory finally sees the Marauders crack the CIS national rankings, making them the tenth seed in the country. McMaster’s weekend doubleheader began in deceptively simple fashion on Friday night, as the Marauders humbled the host Gryphons in straight sets. While the home side fought valiantly in the first period, forcing their opponents into many
extended rallies, the Marauders would eventually take the frame convincingly with a seven point lead. From here, it was all downhill for the Gryphons, and McMaster would seal the straightforward victory without much fanfare. Second year phenom Shannon McRobert and rookie hitter Kailee Stock led the Marauders with 14 points apiece in the win, while Jennifer Holt orchestrated the attack, registering 34 assists. However, the marquee matchup was to come on Sunday afternoon, as Ontario’s two premier squads collided in Toronto. In front of a near capacity crowd of partisan Blues supporters, the Marauders ground out a five set decision in a game of the highest quality. It was a contest that featured ferocious attacking play, stubborn defensive work, and several pieces of individual brilliance from both sides of • PLEASE SEE BEST, B9
Vancouver 2010 Olympics A reading week trip to remember as the Winter Games come to Canada DAVID KOOTS
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
MICHELLE NG / SILHOUETTE STAFF
The 2010 Vancouver Olympics begin Friday and will run until Feb. 28th. The first week coincides with Mac’s reading week.
This Friday, the eyes of the nation will turn to Vancouver-Whistler as one of the world’s biggest sporting events begins on Canadian soil. I am fortunate enough to be one of the thousands of fans who will be descending on the city in the next 16 days as my reading week plans take me to Vancouver and the Olympic experience. In October 2008 I decided, if at all possible, that I wanted to go to the Games. I did not really have the money for it, but seeing how it was a once in a lifetime opportunity I decided to find a way financially and entered the lottery for tickets. I applied for an individual • PLEASE SEE SIL, B11
B8 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010
THE SILHOUETTE • B9
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Best in East and West clash Mac upset by Guelph, • CONT’D FROM B7 the net. The first frame set the tone for the entire match, with both teams fighting tooth and nail for every point. McMaster took an early 8-6 lead into the first technical timeout when Toronto was called on a double touch infraction, but it would evaporate quickly as the teams resumed play. Despite a beautiful backline ace from Genevieve Dumas, the Marauders were under constant pressure from the rampant Kristina Valjas, who was firing with authority from both wings. McMaster would gain the decisive edge in the set after a signature leaping kill from Sarah Kiernan was followed by two blazing efforts from Larissa Puhach, whose power caught the Toronto libero painfully off-guard. Once a mid-court kill from Kaila Janssen gave McMaster a vital set point, the Blues would gift the opening period to their opponents with a net violation. The Marauders carried the momentum into the second set, grabbing what looked to be a decisive lead before slumping to drop the frame. McMaster began in fine form, with Lauren Skelly threading a kill through the Blues’ block to move the score line to 12-8. Mac’s lead would continue until 18-15, when Toronto emerged from a desperate timeout with a new sense of
urgency. Despite a virtuoso performance from Sarah Kiernan, McMaster would watch their lead disappear, finally losing the set entirely when the Blues rolled a kill off the Marauder block at 26-27. After beginning in a typically close fashion, the third frame would open up in the Marauders favour mid-set, with Laura Cobb producing an ace to bring McMaster into the second technical timeout with a 16-12 advantage. However, it looked dangerously like déjà-vu for the Marauders when Toronto stormed back into contention, levelling the score at 18 through another authoritative kill from the masterful Valjas. Fortunately for the visitors, they would learn from the lessons of the previous set and show resiliency in the face of a resurgent Blues team. With the sides level at 21, Toronto crucially fired an effort long, and called a timeout looking visibly rattled. This proved to be all the momentum that McMaster needed, as Skelly rolled a kill off the Blues block before Toronto gifted the third to the visitors with a four touch infraction. The fourth set proved to be the most lopsided of all, as the Marauders’ form fatally dipped, particularly from the service line. Despite leading at the first technical timeout, McMaster appeared lethargic as the set wore on, and an inability to
rebound against T.O.
serve with consistency saw the visitors fall behind 14-18. From here, the Marauders quickly faded, and two more emphatic efforts from Valjas ensured a fifth and deciding set. With the game on the line, McMaster found their best form of the afternoon, led by the heroics of their defensive genius Meagan Nederveen. The Marauders would grab the first three points of the set, and enter the changeover with an 8-5 lead with Kiernan and Puhach both finding their range at net. Toronto kept things close as McMaster tried to pull away, putting a beautiful Nederveen dig to waste in the process. However, there would be no denying the Marauders’ emerging star, and at 10-6, Nederveen would produce the play of the game, splaying out for a miraculous pancake dig which her teammates promptly capitalized on. With momentum firmly on their side, it was only a matter of time before McMaster sealed the win, and Kaila Janssen would put the game to bed by thundering a swing wide off the Blues’ block. With the impressive win over their OUA rivals in the bag, the Marauders now enter the CIS rankings and lock up top spot in the division. The women will finish their banner season this coming weekend when they visit the York Lions on SaturJeremy Groenveld (6) is one of the OUA’s most feared hitters. day.
PHOTO C/O LARRY SKELLY
Women take medals in relays • CONT’D FROM B7 time of 4:00.35 in the 400m free. The Marauders had further relay success on the weekend, with the women also claiming medals in the 400m and 800m medley relays. The team of Buckland, Vanommen, Sarah Thompson and Sloan swam their way to a silver in the 400m. Earning a bronze in the 800m was Lindsay Charles, Rachael McKay,
Jessica Mackenzie and Louisa Chan with a time of 8:36.17. On the men’s side, David Landry, Michael McDonald, Zach Dewolfe, and Matthew Vogelzang, finished second in the 200m relay and third in the 400m relay. Taking home the title for the team competition on the women’s side was Western, with a point total of 1032.5. Runner-up was the Uni-
versity of Toronto with 630 points. For the men, the Varsity Blues won their seventh straight OUA title with 998 team points. The championship is their ninth in the past ten years. Rounding out the top three was the Mustangs and Ottawa Gee-Gees. The CIS Championship will be held in Toronto from Feb. 18 – 20 and will see 19 McMaster athletes compete.
SCOREBOARD MCMASTER 0 GUELPH
MCMASTER 3 TORONTO
Next Game vs.York Lions Saturday 8:00 p.m. (away)
Fraser Caldwell Silhouette Staff
With their season winding down, the McMaster Marauders men’s volleyball team split a weekend doubleheader to stay in a deadlock atop the OUA standings. The men dropped a disappointing straightsets decision to the Guelph Gryphons on Friday night (25-27, 17-25, 18-25) before rebounding to defeat the Toronto Varsity Blues in four sets on Sunday afternoon (25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22). The loss to Guelph marks the second time this season that the Marauders have lost to the team that is quickly becoming their kryptonite. The weekend split keeps McMaster in a tie for top spot in the OUA with the Western Mustangs, while moving the team further down the CIS rankings they once led, making them the eighth seed. The train wreck of Friday night’s encounter with Guelph began as a competitive contest, before an increasingly beleaguered McMaster squad lost its fighting spirit. After a tight first set which needed extra points, Guelph pressed home their momentum to take the following two frames in relative ease, closing out their heavily favoured opponents in brutal fashion. Jeremy Groenveld led the Marauders in a losing cause with a final tally of nine points on eight kills, while Paul Podstawka chipped in eight points on six kills. Winston Rosser set the pace for the Gryphons with a total of 15 points on the night, including 14 kills. After the humbling loss, McMaster travelled to Toronto where they redeemed themselves with a four set victory. With the Toronto gym nearly empty after the excitement of the women’s game beforehand, the men’s match began with some low-level volleyball from both sides. However, McMaster raised their game as the set wore on, finally grabbing the advantage when Groenveld produced a typically dominating kill at 9-9. The Marauders would streak from here, going in to the second technical timeout with a 16-12 advantage after a Shawn Bench effort careened off of an overly optimistic dig. After Paul Podstawka blasted an attack off the block and combined with Tyler Santoni to mercilessly stuff a Toronto attempt, Santoni put the set to rest with a strong cross-court smash of his own.
The second frame would start tightly before Toronto grabbed momentum mid-set and levelled the game. McMaster momentarily held the lead after Ryan Hudson brilliantly tricked the Blues’ front line with a disguised tip. However, a combination of attacking errors on the part of the Marauders, and the Blues’ newfound defensive rhythm quickly put the home side in front, and their lead would extend to five points after their blockers denied Josh Lichty on the Marauder left wing. Soon enough, Toronto was dominating the set, and after a bit of luck saw them claim a point from a generous net cord, the Blues sealed the second when Groenveld fired wide of the mark. Fortunately for the visitors, Toronto was unable to carry its momentum into the third set, where McMaster would eventually eke out a decisive lead. After a turbulent opening, the Marauders took the lead thanks to a sideline-hugging laser beam from Groenveld at 9-9. The gap would widen as the set wore on, with McMaster taking a four point advantage into the second technical timeout after two authoritative points from bearded behemoth Shawn Bench. Despite a spirited Toronto fight-back, which saw them close the gap to three points in the dying stages, the Marauders killed off the third with forceful smashes from Groenveld and Lichty. The fourth and final frame followed a very similar formula to that which preceded it, as a competitive opening gave way to a McMaster lead mid-set, which the visitors would carry to the conclusion. The first opening for the Marauders came at 11-9, when an increasingly disorganized Toronto team committed another of their many errors, sending an attacking effort horribly long. McMaster would stretch their advantage to six points as the set reached its end, with the influential Bench combining with sophomore setter Myles Barr for a block which noticeably deflated the home side. While the Blues managed a slight resurgence, they proved unable to resist the constant power of the Marauder hitters, and Paul Podstawka would edge the match towards an end with a pair of defence-shattering bombs at net. After Santoni brought up match point with a routine mid-court kill, the Blues self-destructed and gifted the match to their opponents by floating a serve harmlessly long. Paul Podstawka received recognition as McMaster’s player of the game on the basis of his eyecatching 12 point performance. The Marauders’ twin towers, Groenveld and Santoni led the squad with matching totals of 13 points, on 10 and 11 kills respectively. Locked in a dogfight for OUA supremacy, the Marauders now turn their attention to a road date with the York Lions on Saturday night, before returning to Burridge Gym the following weekend to close out the conference season.
B10 • THE SILHOUETTE MEET A MARAUDER
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Pos: Forward 6’7” / 215 lbs. Program: Finance MBA From: Stoney Creek, ON HS: Saltfleet District HIGHLIGHTS: 2006 Ivy League All-Star 2008 OUA All-Star 4th in OUA ppg (20.8) 4th in OUA rpg (9.0)
BRIAN DECKER SPORTS EDITOR
Keenan Jeppesen a special kind of player, though not just because of his exceptional skills on the court. The Stoney Creek native has played for three collegiate teams: The Brown University Bears, the Western Mustangs and now the McMaster Marauders. After returning to Canada from the Ivy League to finish his bachelor’s degree, Jeppesen has come home to the Hamilton area to earn an MBA. The 6’7” forward has been al All-Star in both the Ivy League and the OUA, and was a key component of Western’s team that made it to the semi-finals of last year’s CIS Championship. The Sil’s Brian Decker caught up with the former Mustang one night before he and the Marauders travelled to London, in what was Jeppesen’s first visit to play Western in an opposing uniform.
BRIAN DECKER / SPORTS EDITOR
Star forward closing CIS career in hometown colours Brian Decker: What’s your favourite food? Keenan Jeppesen: My mom’s lasagna. BD: Interest outside basketball? KJ: Watching movies. BD: What’s the best one you’ve seen recently? KJ: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. It’s an independent film. BD: What’s on your iPod in warm ups? KJ: Oh wow, that’s a bad question. Right now? [Laughs] Miley Cyrus. Party in the USA. BD: What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed between playing Mac and Western? KJ: The fan support here, definitely. Without a question. BD: What made you choose Mac for your MBA? KJ: It was a combination of it being such a reputable program, as well as coming back home and the basketball program, a combination of all three.
BD: [Head Coach] Raso finally lured you over here? KJ: He jokes about it being the longest ever recruiting process, but I’ve known him since I was in basketball camp. BD: Who’s the biggest prankster on the team? KJ: Assistant Coach Jeff Joseph, hands down. Raso’s up there though. They battle. BD: What’s your favourite away gym to play in? KJ: It was Mac until it turned into a home gym. And now, I’m gonna say Western. Hopefully that’s a good omen. BD: Who’s been your most influential teammate? KJ: Oh, man. My most influential teammate has been a guy I played with the last two years named Matt Curtis. I grew up with him, he’s one of my best friends, and I learned a lot from him in life and on the basketball court. BD: Got any plans for after basket-
ball? KJ: Well, after school, I’m gonna continue trying to play basketball. After this year I’m gonna go overseas and test the waters over there. After basketball, I’m concentrating in finance, so I’ll probably go into either wealth management or investment banking. Something boring. BD: What’s the biggest thing you learned from the CIS Tournament last year? KJ: Well I was lucky enough to get two trips. I went and watched my first year at Western because I was injured, and I got to go play last year. Both were very different experiences. Last year I learned that the game isn’t over until the buzzer goes (Editor’s Note: Carleton guard Stu Turnbull hit an off-balance fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to beat the Mustangs by one in the tournament semi-final). BD: Do you have a favourite Raso saying?
KJ: I can give you his most common phrase. He says “stop,” and my favourite is “listen!” BD: Who’s been the toughest opponent in the CIS? KJ: I don’t know if I can name a guy. The toughest teams have always been Guelph and Carleton, those two teams for sure. BD: Is there a pro player you model your game after? KJ: [Michael] Jordan is my favourite player hands down. And my favourite player in the NBA right now is Kobe [Bryant]. I think Kobe modeled his game after Jordan, and I try to model my game after both those guys, I just don’t have the same athletic ability [laughs]. BD: Any advice for a CIS rookie next year? KJ: Just enjoy it. It goes by quick. It’s longer than you get to play in US college, but five years goes by real fast, so just learn as much as you can and have as much fun as possible.
THE SILHOUETTE • B11
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
Rocky road hands Mac two more losses
Sil sports Vancouver bound • CONT’D FROM B7 ticket to eight different events, and was lucky enough to get a ticket to women’s aerials qualification. This past summer, the remaining unsold tickets went back on sale and I had the chance to buy tickets to some of the less desirable events. However, these included men’s hockey games that did not feature the Canadians, and so I bought up four more tickets, three to all European men’s hockey games and another to a men’s curling featuring Canada. With five tickets in hand my Olympic Games experience was all set to become a reality. Being from Western Canada, I have family and friends in Vancouver so finding a place to stay was not really a challenge, significantly reducing the cost of my trip. Still, with a return flight being over four hundred dollars and having spent just over five
hundred on tickets I was down about a thousand dollars I really do not have. And this is where you are going to hate me. When the final round of tickets were released this November, I got everyone I know with a computer to help me wait in a virtual waiting room for the first come first served tickets. I got in on the second wave and bought two of the best tickets to the Games, the women’s 1000m long track speed skating (Canada dominates this event) and a ticket to the men’s hockey game between Russia and the Czech Republic. Both front row. The Vancouver Olympic Organizers have set up a system in which fans can sell their tickets through the official Olympic site for a profit. Essentially it is a legal way of scalping that allows VANOC to take 20 per cent of the resale price. The key to my trip was selling my two tickets plus one of my other
men’s hockey games through this site for a combined $1,600. I am now making a profit by going to the Olympics while still going to four events. Trust me, Jeff Green hates me for this, and he does not seem to be alone. So this reading week, while others are off to Cuba, Mexico or Mont Tremblant, I will be heading out west to the biggest party on the continent. When I get back I will be sure to give you my account of the Games, but I also know I am not the only Mac student heading out. Let us know about your own experience (through email@example.com), whether you are in Vancouver, Whistler or even staying in Hamilton and watching CTV’s coverage on your TV. The Olympics are one time for us to unite as a country and all cheer for the same team. We are no longer Leafs fans, or Flames fans, but instead Canadian fans. So tune in and cheer on Canada to Olympic gold.
PHOTO C/O RCHARD ZAZULAK
Taylor Smith’s Marauders could not come up with wins on the road.
SCOREBOARD Saturday February 6th
MCMASTER 61 brocK
Wednesday February 10th
McMaster 75 western
Next Game vs. Guelph Gryphons Saturday 1 p.m. (Burridge Gym)
BRIAN DECKER SPORTS EDITOR
There are a lot of positives to take away from this week for the McMaster Marauders. Unfortunately, they’re outweighed by the negatives and a playoff predicament staring them dead in the face. The Marauders fell 83-75 to the Western Mustangs Wednesday night, four days after a 74-61 defeat at the hands of the Brock Badgers. The losses drop the Marauders down to 11-8 and 5th place in the OUA West, staring up at the Badgers and the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Western’s Amanda Anderson played her final regular season home game in brilliant fashion, and got her revenge on the Marauders, who prevailed 71-66 the last time these teams met. In that game, Anderson went just 5-23 and scored 13 points. This time, however, Anderson lit up the scoreboard for 35 points, including six three pointers. The points moved Anderson into third place all time on the OUA scoring list with 1,618 points, just six behind second place. The fifth year guard, playing on Western’s
Seniors’ night, hit two late threes to give the Mustangs a seven point cushion and a lead they would not relinquish. The Marauders controlled the game early, taking a 23-13 lead behind a strong start from Hailey Milligan and Emily Leger. The lead stayed steady until the fourth, when Anderson’s hot hand from behind the arc proved to be too much. Leger scored a career-high 12 points, and a 6’3” Milligan continued to be a force in the paint with 19 points and nine rebounds. Still, those bright spots were not enough to lead to a victory. If the playoffs were to start today, the Marauders would have to leave the friendly confines of the Burridge Gym for the first round of the playoffs. The top two seeds, currently held by Windsor and Lakehead, get a first-round bye, while the three and four seeds host firstround games. McMaster has lost four of five on the road, struggling to find comfort in opposing gyms. Mac’s road struggles continued earlier in the week to a similar tune. It was the outrageous three-point shooting of the Brock Badgers that turned a tight contest into another lost game. The Badgers shot 50 per cent from behind the arc and dished out an incredible 22 assists on 25 made field goals, finding open shooters who continually knocked down shots. Rookie guard Liz Burns was another bright spot for the Marauders, scoring a career-high 13 points in the loss. In order to host an OUA playoff game, Mac will need to catch Lakehead or Brock, who currently hold the third and fourth playoff seeds. Mac hosts lowly Guelph on Saturday before hosting Waterloo on Feb. 17 and closing out their season at Windsor on Feb. 20.
Jeppesen injured as winning streak ends in London SCOREBOARD
throw parade was led by star forward Andy Wedemire, who scored Saturday February 6th 25 points after reaching the charity stripe 14 times. David Harder added a double-double of 22 points and 11 MCMASTER 89 rebounds for the Mustangs. Cam Michaud scored a career high 27 points and grabbed eight rebrocK 69 bounds, taking a focal role in the ofWednesday February 10th fence in Jeppesen’s absence. It was not enough, however, to fill the void left by injury to McMaster’s leading McMaster 86 scorer. Tyrell Vernon scored 15 points, western 92 including two late three pointers to make things interesting, while Scott Next Game vs. Guelph Gryphons Saturday 3 p.m. (Burridge Gym) Laws, Victor Raso and Jermaine De Costa scored 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Marauders forced speedy guard Ryan Barbeau into making BRIAN DECKER eight turnovers and scoring just SPORTS EDITOR five points, but it was not enough to It was certainly not the homecom- slow down the Mustang attack. The night was potentially the ing Keenan Jeppesen envisioned. McMaster’s star forward, play- final home game for a few of the ing against Western as a visitor for Western Mustangs, who are batthe first time, went down with a leg tling it out in the OUA West to take injury early in the game, watching one of the top four seeds and host his Marauders fall 92-86 and end a playoff game. McMaster now stands at 12-7, holding onto third their six-game winning streak. Jeppesen played the last two place and trailing the second place seasons at Western, being named an Windsor Lancers by two games. OUA All-Star last season and help- Earlier in the week, Mac ing the team to reach the CIS Cham- stretched its winning streak to four games, pulling away from Brock pionship semi-finals. The Mustangs reached the foul in the second half on the way to line an incredible 45 times, making the 20 point win. Jeppesen posted 37 of them and pulling away in McMaster first triple double since the fourth quarter. The virtual free 1995, scoring 24 points and adding
10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was the first triple double since Keegan Johnson’s over 14 years ago. Michaud scored 21 points, playing in front of friends and family. Michaud hails from nearby Grimsby, and had his own cheering section in the Brock stands. “It’s definitely a home game for me. It makes it exciting, for sure. All my friends and family are here, so I get pretty pumped up,” said Michaud of playing close to home. The win represents the second time Mac has downed Brock handily this season. McMaster swiped away the Badgers 89-67 on Jan. 13. With Brock dueling with Waterloo and Laurier for seeding of the final two playoff spots, there’s a good chance the Niagara region squad could meet up with the Hamiltonians once again in the playoffs. Still, if Jeppesen is injured, no team will give the Marauders an easy win. The forward is averaging 20.8 points and nine rebounds per game this season, and has been the driving force for McMaster on both ends of the floor. Stars like Vernon and Michaud, both capable scorers, will need to step up in the meantime to create offence and knock down shots. The Marauders cracked the CIS top-10 for the first time since early January this week, but a loss to Western and an even bigger loss to Jeppesen’s injury puts that standing in jeopardy.
B12 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
production office: extension 27117
in partnership with SHEC
Get to know what’s in your base tan Before you go under the lights, know what’s going into you LINDSAY FLEMING SILHOUETTE STAFF
For many students, the “base tan” is the final step in preparing for their Reading Week vacations, provides them with needed vitamin D, or is used as an acne treatment. Despite the many well-known harms involved with sun tanning, many students will argue that getting a base tan protects their skin from getting sunburnt while on vacation. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently discredited the protective effects of base tans, stating that they offer the equivalent amount of sun protection as a sunscreen with an SPF of 2 or 3. Although many people enjoy the healthy glow of tanned skin, it is important to understand the effects and risks of UVA and UVB exposure before visiting the tanning salon. The skin is divided into three different layers: the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue. Tanning occurs at the outermost layer of the skin known as the epidermis. The epidermis is made up of three main types of cells known as melanocytes, basal cells and keratinocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin, which provides the skin with its pigmentation. Once the skin is exposed to UV radiation, it increases the production of melanin in an attempt to protect the skin from further damage, producing a tan. Tanning beds emit predominantly UVA and some UVB radiation, both of which can damage the DNA in skin cells. However, in
recent years, lamps of tanning beds have been manufactured that produce higher levels of UVB to mimic the solar spectrum and speed up the tanning process. While UVB has well known carcinogenic properties and excessive exposure is known to lead to the development of skin cancers, recent studies suggest that high exposures to the longer wavelength UVA can also increase the risk of skin cancer. There are two main ways in which UV radiation can cause skin cancer. It damages the DNA in skin cells, causing the skin to grow abnormally and develop benign or malignant growths. UV radiation also weakens the immune system and compromises the body’s natural defenses against aggressive cancer cells. Approximately 90 per cent of all skin cancers can be traced to UV exposure. The three main types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma, and squamous-cell carcinoma. Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and its incidence is rapidly rising in women under 40. Although the exact cause of malignant melanoma is unknown, it is certain the excessive sun exposure plays a leading role in the development of this type of cancer. Melanomas can start as a new black, brown or dark spot on the surface of the skin and often change size, shape and colour, so it is important to monitor the condition of your skin. Frequent exposure to UVA and UVB radiation can also cause premature aging of the skin and result in the formation of wrinkles and sun-spots.
Furthermore, while tanning beds use may increase vitamin D synthesis for the majority of the population, incidental exposure to the sun, combined with normal dietary intake of vitamin D, provides adequate vitamin D for a healthy body throughout the year.
In terms of acne treatment, there is no evidential proof that sun tanning will cure acne. Although tanning may provide a temporary camouflage for breakouts and skin discolourations, there is also the risk that it will further inflame your acne since the heat and humidity
involved with tanning will activate your sebaceous glands. The decision to go tanning is a personal one, but it is always important to keep in mind the various risks involved with frequent sun exposure and to make sure that tanning is done in moderation if at all.
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
Long term effects of sun tanning include premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.
On February 14, love your health
Many Valentine’s Day customs actually have health benefits LAURA MCGHIE SILHOUETTE STAFF
Valentine’s Day elicits a very powerful emotional response from people. Hated by many and adored by others, this yearly tradition creates quite the controversy. Those
who dislike Valentine’s Day often criticize it as a celebration of consumerism; a holiday controlled and perpetuated by the Hallmark Corporation. Sure, Valentine’s Day may not be your favourite holiday of the year, or even your favourite holiday in February. But, before you write
February 14 off again, consider some reasons why Valentine’s Day can be good for your health. It’s not really Valentine’s Day without some chocolate and research suggests that chocolate has health benefits. A few ounces of dark chocolate each day has been
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SILHOUETTE STAFF
Though heart candy is not the healthiest choice, some dark chocolate or wine is healthy for your heart.
shown to lower blood pressure, improve cardiac health, and may even boost a person’s memory and reaction time by increasing blood flow to the brain. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day is also an opportunity to improve selfesteem. Whether it’s a significant other, friend, or family member, telling someone you appreciate them can improve a person’s selfconfidence and self-esteem. Valentine’s Day is not exclusive to people in relationships. Share your joy with everyone this February 14 and improve your health and the health of those closest to you. Also, by indulging in a guiltfree glass of wine this Valentine’s Day you can enjoy a long list of associated health benefits. One glass of wine for women and two glasses for men can raise a person’s healthy cholesterol levels and thin their blood. Furthermore, thanks to the phytochemicals present in wine, this one-glass-a-day habit can reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease while slowing the onset of degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Whatever your age, gender, or outlook on Valentine’s Day, hugging is good for you. Take a few
minutes this Sunday to give someone a squeeze. Experts agree, hugging can lower your blood pressure, improve your overall heart health, and reduce the negative effects of stress on your body. Whether you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day or will be laughing at all those saps buying into it, this day will afford you a few reasons to laugh. Not only will this exercise give you an intense (albeit short) abdominal workout, laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body, distracts you from negative emotions and improves the moods of those around you. Lastly, Valentine’s Day is yet another annual tradition. Like it or not, celebrating Valentine’s Day is a practice that is here to stay. Rather than focusing on the negative or sentimental aspects of the holiday, enjoy the stability and sense of comfort that accompanies this yearly tradition. If these factors have not convinced you to give Valentine’s Day another shot, celebrate a happy, healthy February 14 anyway. Hating something will not make it go away, and, if it is any consolation, at least this Monday will come with a lot of discount chocolate.
THE SILHOUETTE • C1
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
production office: extension 27117
ILLUSTRATION BY AVA DIDEBAN / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
A gold mine of debt
Will the cost of the 2010 games outweigh the benefit? SANTINO MARINUCCI BUSINESS EDITOR
Everybody loves the Olympics. It is the one event where the best athletes from around the world gather at one venue to showcase their abilities, represent their countries, and instil pride in their homelands, all while stimulating the local economy. What’s not to love about this world wide event? Well, despite the positive image that is projected on the host country while having the Olympic Games, the sheer cost of building and running the infrastructure before and after the festivities can prove to be an overwhelming issue. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are just around the corner and bring as much pride and nationality to Canada as it does protest. However, the protest is louder than the pride. An Angus Reid poll conducted during November of 2009 in the Vancouver Sun, showed that more than 30 per cent of people living in the city feel that the games will have a negative impact on their community. While over 70 per cent believe that too much has been spent. Sadly, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics has wandered down the same path that many other host cities
have. Currently, the city has overrun their budget of $1.35 billion to $1.63 billion. To make matters worse former host cities have fallen fate to poor utilization of facilities after the games and debt.
It was only until 2006, 30 years after they hosted the games, that Montreal paid off their 1976 Olympic debt” The 2000 Olympic Games, which were held in Sydney, Australia, proved that the games are more of a ﬁnancial drag than an economic stimulant. According to Olympic committee reports, the 2000 games brought in “$2.387 billion in revenue, $2.0157 in operating expenses, and $467.7 million in legacy contributions, resulting in a $96.2 million loss”. Sydney represents that even during a relatively successful Olympic Games it is still possible to end up in the red after the dust has settled and the tourists have gone.
McMaster’s next big move
Money on the mind
Construction of the Ron Joyce MBA school is underway in Burlington SIMON GRANAT BUSINESS EDITOR
McMaster University is beginning to solidify its position as one of the country’s leading business universities with the construction of The Ron Joyce Centre at the DeGroote School of Business in Burlington. The new MBA School is scheduled to open and host classes for September 2010. “Construction is on track,” said Sandee Clairmont, Director of Marketing and Communications at the DeGroote School of Business. The glass for the outside windows are currently being installed. The four storey, 90,000 square foot school, “will be the new home of DeGroote’s MBA program and will also offer executive education opportunities for business professionals,” said Clairmont. The new facility will boast all the amenities of the McMaster campus. It will have an atrium entrance, ofﬁces, administration, a library, lecture halls, classrooms, lounges, eating facilities, and spe• PLEASE SEE MBA, C3
Like Sydney, Vancouver will have to deal with the debt accumulated by building facilities to and hosting the game. To compound the problem, they will have to keep spending money to run infrastructure after February 2010. It was only until 2006, 30 years after they hosted the games, that Montreal paid off their 1976 Olympic debt. Along with this, it is also reported that the cost of running the Sydney amphitheatre after the 2000 Olympics was around the $35 million dollars per year. Lastly Athens has underutilized their Olympic park. Since the 2004 games the park has fallen into disrepair and now costs the government approximately $500 million Euros to run, annually. So after all the ﬂag waving is done and the ﬁreworks have settled, are the Olympic Games really worth all that investment? History will tell us that it’s just not worth it, and Vancouver 2010 will be no different. Not much has been, or will be done to stop the Olympic machine that chews up cities and spits them back out without mercy. So I guess I’ll just hang on to my red mittens along with everyone else and hope Canada wins the gold this year.
CUT YOUR HAIR, GET A JOB
Try these simple techniques to finally reclaim your nights MIKE CARDILLO THE SILHOUETTE
It’s Sunday night and you have a midterm the next morning. Instead of sleeping you are thinking about how you will pay down your student debt, or better yet if you even have enough cash saved to go south for spring break. Does this sound familiar? Money is on everyone’s mind and for many it is a cause of great distress, especially among students. As a university student, you’ve got enough to worry about. The additional stresses of personal ﬁnance in the mix of every-
day life can have serious repercussions, not only on your mental health but your physical health as well. This added anxiety can distract you from your studies and even alter your sleep and eating patterns. Worst of all, it could possibly lead you to harbour feelings of insecurity or resentment against those who you may perceive more ﬁnancially sound than you. However, a simple remedy exists to help you reclaim your nights. With a pen and notepad in hand, ﬁnd a quiet place with no distractions. Reﬂect on the thoughts that keep you up at night and put them on paper. There is no Writing down your money • PLEASE SEE MIND, C3 troubles may ease your mind.
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
The average hourly wage for both full-time and parttime female employees in 2006 was only 84 per cent that of a man. Little has changed since then. • PLEASE SEE PAY, C2
On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010 Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hosted the G7 Summit in Iqaluit. Side activities included dog sledding and igloo building. • PLEASE SEE G7, C4
The GTF looks at the impact Toyota’s continent wide recall will have on the car maker’s reputation. Toyota’s loss could be Ford’s gain. • PLEASE SEE TOYOTA, C4
Employment numbers up for January REMEK DEBSKI SIL ANALYST
Unemployment numbers were the big news in Canadian economics the week of February 1 to 5. Friday’s Labour Force Survey revealed that employment increased by 43,000 jobs in January. This “marks the fourth employment gain in six months,” reported Statistics Canada. The increase in employment by 43,000 jobs beat analyst predictions almost three fold – the expectations came in at 15,000 jobs for January. This increase in jobs also meant a decrease in the unemployment rate, which is currently sitting at 8.3 per cent; this is a drop of 0.1 points from Statistics Canada previous report. This drop in unemployment in January was attributed to increases in three sectors. Increases in employment were seen in the business sector by 34,000 jobs, the building and other support services sector, and lastly the retail and wholesale trade sector by 23,000 jobs. Employment losses did occur during this period. The losses were seen in the professional, scientiﬁc and technical services sector, which lost 22,000 jobs, and the agricul• PLEASE SEE UNEMPLOY, C4
C2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
around the globe
The Canadian tar sands are an essential gear in the proverbial economic machine. They fuel our economy both literally and figuratively. But, at what price should we continue to manufacture this essential yet costly and destructive resource? Recently Canada’s oil sands have been in the news because of the outcry that the Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has raised over Canada’s environmental reputation. He has suggested that Alberta should work with Ottawa to reduce carbon levels. This is an interesting way at looking at things, because it seems that Mr. Prentice wants to have his cake and eat it too. If we impose further restricting environmental regulations on oil sands like Mr. Prentice suggests, it would not only mean a reduction in refining projects, but it would damage Canada’s economic fabric by affecting employment and offshore industries. Settle down, Green Peace. Hear me out. The Canadian Energy Research Institute released a study that showed Canada’s oil and gas sector will contribute to over $3.5 trillion to the GDP over the next 25 years, which will trickle down effects and fuel our national economy. This means that the oil and gas sector in Canada is vital to our growth and sustainability over time as a nation. Putting measures in place to reduce emissions may hurt the potential profitability and lower productivity of the sector. Mr. Prentice wants to make the western provinces more accountable to their greenhouse targets that they are failing to meet. It is honourable, but unrealistic. The addition of stricter emission targets and carbon taxes would essentially slow down the growth that is present within the energy sector. This would increase the cost of doing business in the province and deter businesses. I do agree with Mr. Prentice that industries should be regulated. In a speech made to Calgary business leaders he mentioned that no regulatory action would be taken unless the United States would be willing to go down the same road. This is a very smart move on behalf of Ottawa, considering the largest consumer of Canadian oil comes from the United States which contributes significant revenue to the Canadian economy. However, the increasing need for environmental accountability may trump cheaper manufacturing and jobs. If we adhere to environmental policies without considering all the other factors involve, there may be repercussions to our national economy. • Santino Marinucci
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has announced that his company, Resourcehouse Ltd (ASX: 844: LK) has acquired Australia’s largest export contract with Chinese company China Power International Development Ltd. for iron ore and coal. This acquisition will benefit China’s economy through their power companies accelerating their efforts to secure overseas coal supply. The contract between the companies is valued at $60 billion and is set to take place over a period of 20 years.
Italy GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (NYSE: GSK) is planning on shutting down its neuroscience research operations in Northern Italy by the end of the year. This will only affect the facilities that focus on the research and development of its pain and depression pharmaceuticals. This move is projected to lose over 500 research positions in the Verona location. Glaxo also released information that it would be closing down six other locations worldwide with an undisclosed number of people losing their jobs.
Germany Luxury German car manufacturer Porsche (LSE: POR), aims to sell over 10,000 units in China this year, making them the third largest importers of luxury cars in the world. This expansion comes at a time where increasing incomes throughout China has prompted a larger market for high end cars. Porsche plans on expanding throughout China, by increasing their number of dealerships to 13.
Mexico The Mexican economy is showing signs of recovery with the release of the Mexican central banks growth numbers this week. Mexico is expected to see growth in the range of 3.2 and 4.2 per cent this year. The bank also reported that the inflation levels throughout the country have remained unchanged at 4.5 per cent and worry that state controlled goods will lead to more price increases if not kept stable. However, the unemployment level in the country has also declined, signalling growth.
Simon Granat Business Editor
While they may not openly admit it, there is no idea that strikes greater fear into the hearts of many university men than the thought of pay equity. Imagine if people were paid or represented equally, regardless of what is between their legs. What a novel idea. Those who dread the thought can sleep tight. As far as pay equity goes, nothing has changed. Women are still paid less than men. On average, in 2006 women’s hourly wages for both full and part time employees were 84 per cent of men’s. It is unlikely that women’s wages have increased in proportion since 2006. “It is doubtful whether that figure has changed since then,” said Emanuela Heynink, Comissioner of the Ontario Pay Equity Commission. The pay gap has remained relatively unchanged in previous years. According to Statistics Canada, women were paid 85
cents on the man’s dollar between 2000 and 2005. “The wage gap is different if you look at earnings by age group, by education level by immigrant status and by occupation,” said Heynink who noted that women with disabilities and who are visible minorities are subject to a wider gap in pay. For instance, indigenous women earn 54 per cent less than a white man in a comparable job. The difference in pay between men and women is persistent. Education does not mean equality. Instead, it simply means that women are given a chance to close the gap. “Although women’s education levels have increased in comparison to men’s, and women with higher levels of education experience smaller wage gaps compared to men with similar levels of education regardless of education level, a gender wage gap still exists,” said Heynink. For instance, women who have some post secondary education will earn 83 per cent of men, while women with a graduate
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THE SILHOUETTE • C3
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
MBA expands into Burlington
the water cooler
• CONT’D FROM C1 cial breakout rooms that can be configured to accommodate a number of different activities such as tutorials, workshops and meetings. When designing the new building, McMaster kept the student experience in mind. “The Ron Joyce Centre was specifically designed to enhance their learning experience with flexible spaces which can be configured for a variety of uses. All of the “best” spaces in the building have been allocated to students. They get the views of the creek and the lake,” said Paul Bates, Dean of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. The school will also boast state of the art technology in some areas. Dubbed, “high-touch, high-tech” these spaces will showcase top of the line wireless communications as well as other audio-visual tools for students. Conceptualization for the new school began in July 2004 when the City of Burlington and McMaster University announced that they would discuss the possibility of bringing a campus to the city. On Jan. 27, 2006, McMaster announced that the DeGroote School of Business would have as substantial presence on the new campus. “DeGroote had been involved with the Burlington project since it began. The Business School’s strategic plan calls for a significant expansion of programs and the Burlington campus is a golden opportunity to accelerate those plans. Having a second site for the School provides the chance to develop some unique programs that will attract new students and faculty,” said Clairmont. The new MBA school was funded from a variety of contributors. Ron Joyce, the school’s namesake donated $10 million, while the cities of Burlington and Hamilton have pledged donations of $5 million each. The property to build the new school was donated by Michael H. DeGroote, son of Michael G. DeGroote. Currently there are 350 students enrolled for this upcoming school year. This is below the school’s target of 370 students. Estimated total tuition for full time Canadian MBA students is $26,000. While there are no plans to increase tuition, Clairmont stated that, “there might be some slight increases, but there will not be a sudden shift in tuition rates because of the move to Burlington.” McMaster has offered an MBA degree since 1962. The university also pioneered the co-op MBA program in 1973. “Having a dedicated facility for the MBA program will allow us to increase the stature of our program. In Burlington, we can focus on building the program,” said Dean Bates. Undergraduate and PhD programs at the DeGroote School of Business will not be moved to the Burlington campus.
Flaherty in Iqaluit
Mind on my money
Compiled by Simon Granat & Santino Marinucci
In another effort to discuss the financial meltdown last year, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the rest of the G7 ministers gathered together in Iqaluit to propose ideas and plans to protect the world from another financial collapse. These ideas include banking reform and finding a proper balance when it comes to fiscal policy. Other pressing topics included transitioning from stimulus spending to managing the overhanging debt. Bombardier Aerospace Nosedives Bombardier Inc. (TSE: BBD.B-T) has recorded a loss in its aerospace division from last year producing only 302 planes this year. This is a substantial loss for the Canadian company who, last year produced 342 aircraft, which is a 13 per cent decrease YOY. The hardest hit division was private jets, which declined by over 25 per cent, down over 85 orders this year. JP Morgan finances $700 million for Digital era JP MorganChase (NYSE: JPM: US) is finalizing a $700 million dollar financing deal for three of the major cinema chains (Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Holdings, and Cinemark Holdings), to implement digital screens and projectors. This deal is to outfit the 12,000 theatres across the United States with the new equipment in an attempt to usher in the digital age. Madden on Facebook?
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY WILL VAN ENGEN / PHOTO EDITOR
degree will earn slightly more, 87 per cent the amount of men. However, education does not necessarily mean money in the bank. There are four factors that Heynick says create the wage gap. They are being forced out of the workplace to care for children, the predominance of women in low level jobs, and discrimination. The low salary numbers for women contributing to the wage gap are especially skewed when you take into account the fact that a greater number of women are employed in low level service sector work. Furthermore, women’s representation in senior level positions is still quite low. A survey conducted by Rosenweig and Company found that in the past two years, the amount of women represented in senior executive positions has declined slightly. In 2009, women held 6.9 per cent of the senior executive jobs in Canada. This number dropped from 2007, when 7.2 per cent of women held senior positions. While Rosie’s dream may not yet be fully realized, there have been some en-
couraging trends toward equal representation. An increasing number of companies are starting to accept more women in management positions. In the 2006 Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners in Canada, Catalyst Canada, a nonprofit membership based organization, found that there has been an increase in the amount of companies of whom a quarter or more of their senior officers are women. While there has also been an increase in women with post secondary degrees in past years, it may not be enough to equal the playing field down the road. “Higher education levels seem to benefit women in terms of their hourly wage and the ratio increases as education levels increase. Women have lower representation in traditional male fields of study - like engineering, sciences, trades, etc. and that may translate into wage gaps once they get jobs,” said Heynink. With all this said, It may still be years before all Canadians buy into the idea that women can get the job done.
Potash Corp. Of Saskatchewan (TSE: POT) Although sales for fertilizer will be up this quarter, something stinks. After a one-year hiatus, China is now buying Canadian potash. Good news for farmers now. However, the price of the commodity has risen in past weeks and now sits at around $430. China’s buying could bubble the industry. As with Steel, China could at any time and probably will, stop buying potash. This would lead to an oversupply, and as any first year economics teacher will tell you this will drop the price of the commodity so fast that it will leave your head spinning, Exorcist style.
• CONT’D FROM C1 particular method of doing this. If you are a visual learner, using flowcharts to map your thoughts may make it easier for you. Start by asking yourself basic questions such as; what is the best way to maximize my savings? Or perhaps you have lingering questions about your student loans. It is also important to write down all the financial goals you have for yourself, both in the short and long term. If you have dreams of traveling the world after you graduate be sure to write them down too. Putting your ambitions in writing will greatly help you achieve the means to meet them. Once you have written down all that is plaguing you about money, start prioritizing and categorizing your thoughts. Arrange all your questions accordingly so you can speak to your professors, parents or bank reps to find some answers. Prioritize your needs and wants but always remember to be honest with yourself. Paying your electricity bill is always more important than buying your backpack to travel the world. Finally, don’t forget to put an action plan and corresponding timetable in place to help you reach your goals. The purpose of this is to help you come to terms with all the concerns or fears that you may have about your money. However it is important to keep in mind that your finances are nobody’s business but your own, and you are ultimately responsible for your financial future. Once you have cleared your mind, sit back and enjoy your newfound sense of security, heck you might just get some sleep while you’re at it.
H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) Three words, “new ketchup package.” That’s right, Heinz has revamped their classic ketchup package design. What we like about the new packaging are as follows: • It is dual function, it can dip and spread. • It looks darn cool. • Those kids who used to throw them at you in high school will have to settle for mustard packets instead. • Heinz stock pays solid dividends, and sits just below their one year high. They also sell about 11 billion ketchup packets a year, and the new packaging will reflect well on Heinz’s Q1 and Q2 sales for 2010.
The ever so popular Madden NFL game, that is beloved by so many people, may be integrated onto the social networking site, Facebook. In order to expand their share in the video game market Electronic Arts Inc. (NYSE: ERTS: US) has announced a simpler version of Madden to be made available to users on the popular site. A release date for the game has not yet been issued. Buffet has faith in the hog industry Warren Buffet announced Sunday that his agricultural-equipment unit at Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A), CTB Inc will see growth for the next few decades. CTB sells feeders and stalls in the agricultural business which has proven to be very lucrative. According to BusinessWeek, Buffet looks favourably at CTB’s growth in the future stating, “we’ll hit a bump in the road every now and then but we’re looking at a superhighway out there in front of us.”
C4 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
FROM THE GOULD TRADING FLOOR
Toyota can’t stop moving forward GREGORY DARKEFF AND ANDREW VRANA GOULD TRADING FLOOR
Learning about your student loan SIMON GRANAT BUSINESS EDITOR
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), love it or hate it, most students cannot be students without it. For many students it is their ﬁrst foray into the world of debt. For this reason, it is important to know the skinny on the province’s student loan program. Otherwise, you may wake up to ﬁnd that you have missed a payment, and your credit rating has been hurt as a result. OSAP is the largest liability students are likely to have so how they handle it will lay the framework for their ﬁnancial future. As is commonly held knowledge at any post secondary institution, OSAP is Ontario’s government funded student loan program. If granted OSAP by the government students will not owe interest while they remain a full time student. Interest will be charged six months after the student is no longer in school. The interest rate for OSAP is prime +3.5. Although the prime rate typically varies from bank to bank in North America, it is always closely tied to the interest rate from which the bank is char-
ging. This means that the OSAP interest is the bank’s interest rate plus one per cent. Currently, the Bank of Canada is holding inﬂation at 0.25 per cent. However, OSAP is a variable interest rate. That means that the interest rate charged for the repayment of the loan may be subject to change. The Bank of Canada’s interest rate may shoot up or stay down, the interest rate for OSAP is set at the time students cease going to school, and begin repaying the loan. It is important for students to know that they must contact the National Student Loans Service or the ﬁnancial institution that holds their student loan. This is done after they have ﬁnished school to set the terms of repayment. The NSLS will send students a consolidation agreement, and conﬁrm the date you will begin making payments. It is incredibly important for students to contact the issuer of the loan after they have graduated school. Hiding under a rock, won’t make the loan go away. In fact, it will only make it worse. If students fail to contact the institution they risk missing repayments. If missing a payment student’s credit ratings will take a tumble. One
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY WILL VAN ENGEN / PHOTO EDITOR
missed payment to your student loan can be enough to turn someone down for another loan, or a mortgage. Often, a small condition may change. If students have not contacted the issuer of the loan, it may be enough to miss payments. Part time Students are charged different repayment terms than full time students. Their loan will accrue interest while they are in school and during the six month grace period. However, students may defer their payments until after they have graduated with no repercussions. However, while you can defer paying your loan back, it will be collecting interest regardless, so the best strategy is to pay it back while in school part time. It won’t hurt your credit to make loan payments on time, but missing a payment will. Treat your credit like gold. If students cannot make payments, they are urged to contact the provider of the loan to discuss possible alternatives, such as interest relief, debt reduction or a revision of the terms of the loan. It is always best to be careful with your student loan. The best strategy is to make your payments on time and contact the issuer to make sure that everything is kosher.
G7 Summit opens up for talks
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
Canada’s Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty discussed plans to aid the ﬁnancial crisis at the G7 summit. REMEK DEBSKI
G7 ﬁnance ministers and central bankers met Friday and Saturday to decide the best course of action for global economic recovery. In a statement this past Friday Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, mentioned areas of focus for the meeting. “[This] will be a time for frank discussion and a collective determination to help the global economy on the road to recovery,” said Flaherty. “This meeting should advance the objectives of the broader global community to secure strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” added Carney. The planned agenda revolved around the current state of the global economy and the international ﬁnancial markets. Ministers and bankers planned to look at the continued risks on the road to recovery. Topics would include discussions on causes behind the ﬁnancial crisis – while members wanted agreements on capital standards. One session was to be on the
Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. This session was designed to address global imbalances. Flaherty used the summit as a time to showcase Canadian contribution the global economic recovery. Canada is considered to have the world’s most effective ﬁnancial system. In a closing statement Finance Minister Jim Flaherty did outline directions the G7 planned to use. G7 countries plan to, “stay the course on economic stimulus spending until recovery is well entrenched.” Central Banks will push ahead with ﬁnancial. The members will provide development and health-care aid to poorer countries. The G7 will maintain relevance as “ﬁrst responders in an economic crisis.” Criticisms of the directions outlined include that there are no schedules and forecasts set for recovery. No details were offered on how each country plans to regulate its ﬁnancial systems. Only Haiti was mentioned in the development plans. Flaherty mentioned that
Greece’s debt crisis is not a G7 issue but the responsibility of the EU. The relevance of the G7 has been criticized. Both Brazil and China have greater GDP numbers than Canada, yet neither are a part of the group of seven. The member nations still see relevance of the G7 in global economics. “This is the best G7 meeting in 20 years,” Flaherty said other Ministers told him, “and it’s certainly the best G7 I’ve even been at,” he ﬁnished. The next G7 meeting is expected to occur in the spring as part of the International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington.
On January 21, 2010 Toyota Motors (NYSE:TOY) announced the recall of eight popular models. This week they also announced that they would recall the Prius hybrid due to malfunctioning brakes. Made over safety concerns, the recalls have shaken consumers’ trust. Toyota, until recently, was a brand known for quality. The recalls had an impact on their sales, erasing one ﬁfth of the company’s market value between January 20 and February 5 2010. In 2007, Toyota Motors became the world’s premier automaker by volume. Previously, General Motors had held the title for 77 years. Toyota’s ambitious growth has come at a price. In a mangled wreck of fate, the company’s problems are eerily familiar. General Motors’ attempt to sacriﬁce product quality in an attempt to increase proﬁt was at the root of their downfall. In November 2009, Toyota issued another recall for the same problem. At the time, they blamed the sticking accelerator pedals on ﬂoor mats. A little over a month ago, Toyota vehicles again experienced acceleration problems. Toyota attributed the problem to a problem in the car’s computer system. They then immediately announced recalls for all affected models. The recalls also shook the automaker’s stock. Toyota shares declined signiﬁcantly after the recalls. Trading above $90 prior to January 21, they fell to $81 by January 27. By the fourth of February, shares sunk to $71, their lowest level since March 2009.
At the centre of the company’s response has been Akio Toyoda, the ﬁrm’s president and the grandson of its founder. Upon taking control of the company little over a year ago, Toyoda was the ﬁrst executive to admit that radical change was needed. In a recent speech Toyoda admitted that quality would have to be rebuilt from the bottom-up if the company were to survive. Mr. Toyoda has been coming under increasing ﬁre from critics who argue that Toyoda should increase his visibility and model the company’s public relations strategy on its American rival, Ford Motors. Much like Toyota today, Ford Motors was on the edge of a public relations disaster as recently as 2002, when it was discovered that its Explorer model had a tendency to roll over. In the meantime, Toyota’s problems have been a boon for other automakers. In particular, Ford has managed to capitalize, doubling its share price just as the markets have punished Toyota. The fall in Toyota’s market share in the United States, the world’s largest automobile market, is an opportunity for the country’s Big Three automakers to regain some of their former clout. With government bailouts and restructuring, these fallen champions are moving forward, leaving their damaged reputations behind them. The lesson from Toyota’s troubles is simple. It is all too easy to destroy a brand, lose shareholder’s conﬁdence, and turn success into failure. Rebuilding that brand is unquantiﬁably harder. Like all too many banks which dabbled in the subprime market not so many years ago, for it to survive Toyota needs to remember the values and the business which brought it to the top.
Gould Trading Floor Market Outlook IN BRUSSELS, the European Commission continues to deliberate on the possibility of a EU bailout of the Greek government in order to prevent a crisis with the Euro, or a potentially embarrassing IMF intervention. MEANWHILE, upcoming economic releases are expected to show that Spanish economy has failed to pull itself out of recession, while the German and Italian economies experienced meager growth at best.
Unemployment rate drops for students • CONT’D FROM C1 ture sector. This is in contrast to December numbers, which revealed that, professional, scientiﬁc, and technical services were the driving force for employment in that period. However there was good news for student employment. The 15 to 24 year age group saw increases of 29,000 jobs. This pushed the student unemployment rate down from 16.0 per cent to 15.1 per cent. Stats Canada reports this as being one of the largest increases for that age group since the fall of 2008. The largest gain in employment was seen in women aged 24 to 54. The 32,000-job increase broke a trend of increased unemployment of this labour force division seen over that last few months. Half of all employment for January occurred in Ontario. Unfortunately, the increase of 30,000 jobs was not enough to lower the province’s unemployment rate of 9.2 per cent – Statistics Canada attributes this to an increased labour force participation rate. There was also big news in US unemployment rates on Friday. The US number came in at 9.7 per cent – beating analyst expectations of an unchanged 10.0 per cent as in December. The US did loose 20,000 jobs and there is “still [a lot] of work
to do to get Americans back to work, said US Secretary of Labour Hilda L. Solis, in her Friday morning report. There was mentioned of economic growth in the US, as Solis referred to the 5.7 per cent increase in fourth quarter GDP. However, the conservative outlook is still a priority. “There are clear signs of progress in this effort, but we remain well aware that our nation can’t reach its full potential while a single American is unemployed or underemployed.” February 8 to 12 will be an interesting week for the economic outlook in Canada. Monday will be kick started with one of the more signiﬁcant leading indicators in Canadian economics - housing starts. Analysts are expecting the number to be 180,000 over the previous months 175,000 starts. It will be interesting to see if predictions are correct since the big news Thursday, February 4 was a below expectation release of building permits. The number came in positive at 2.4 per cent over the previous months negative 3.2 per cent. However, this was still 0.2 points less then analyst expectations. Building permits should come in positive, but there is a good chance they will be lower then expected.
“i wish i hadn’t bought you dinner right before you dumped me on your front porch.” ben folds
“why can’t i feel anything from anyone other than you?” taking back sunday
“here’s to all the pretty words we will never speak, here’s to all the pretty girls you’re gonna meet.” rilo kiley “while were drowning in rivers from our faces, we just wanna know if this is over.” the rocket summer
“i hope there’s ice on all the roads. and you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt, and again when your head goes through the windshield.” brand new
“why did you keep the mousetrap? why did you keep the dish rack? these things used to be mine, i guess they still are, i want them back.” barenaked ladies
“every friend we ever had in common, i will sever the tie, sever the tie with you.” fall out boy
“at least you never tried to fuck my friends.” frank turner
“i know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, i know you’ll be a sun in somebody else’s sky, but why, why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine.” pearl jam
“you’re a heartbreaker, dream-maker, love-taker, don’t you mess around with me!” pat benatar “so bury me in memory, “as for now i’m gonna hear the saddest songs, and sit alone and wonder how you’re making out. but as for me, i wish that i was anywhere with anyone making out.” dashboard confessional “you are the smell before rain. you are the blood in my veins. call me a safe bet. i’m betting i’m not.” brand new
“love is just a hoax so forget everything that you have heard.” spill canvas
his smile’s your rope, so wrap it tight, around your throat.” fall out boy
“with every breath i wish your body will be broken again.” fall out boy
“now you’ve left me and love another; you have shattered all “don’t forget to give me of my dreams.” back my black t-shirt.” johnny cash
“i would forget you, if only i could think about anything else.” lucero
“ﬁrst i was afraid, i was petriﬁed, kept ben folds thinking I could “you been burned more never live without than once. you don’t think “i’ve broken both my legs falling for you by my side.” much of trust.” dashboard “though you swear that you are true, you. drag me on the ground.” silverstein confessional i still pick my friends over you.” new gloria gaynor “so maybe you loved me, but now, found glory “back in school they never taught us “and i’m sorry that I’m what we needed to know, like how to deal with despair, or someone breaking such a mess, i drank all my money could get and took your heart.” brand new
“you and me, you know that we were always funny in a car crash sort of way. watch me everything you let me have bruise and bleed for you.” boys and then i never loved you night out back.” jimmy eat world
maybe you don’t. and maybe you’ll call me, maybe you won’t.” the dandy warhols
“since you’ve been gone, i can breath for the ﬁrst time. i’m so moving on.” kelly clarkson
“and he can’t understand how everyone goes on breathing when true love ends.” spill canvas
the break up issue break up movies • dear john • young american bodies chalk lines • wood pigeon • banff ﬁlm festival • breaking up the band
D2 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
Senior Editor: Grace Evans Entertainment Editor: Myles Herod Music Editor: Corrigan Hammond Contributors: Catherine Brasch, Michael Clemens, Trevor Roach, Julie Compton, Jordan Collver, Chris Hoy, Ben Small, Derek Hung, Noah Nemoy
Cover: Ava Dideban and Grace Evans
Carrie Underwood Copps Coliseum 8:00 p.m Two Hour Traffic The Casbah 8:00 p.m
Dear John Fri - Sat: 7:00, 9:25 From Paris With Love Fri - Sat: 6:50, 9:10 Festivals Ancaster 2010 Film Fest An Education (Feb. 22) Mon: 7:15
jan.16-may.9 dec.5-april.11 jan.16-may.9
Crazy Heart Fri - Sat: 6:30, 9:15
Liquid of Rain and Rivers Art Gallery of Hamilton 123 King St., Hamilton 905-577-6610 info@artgalleryofhamilton. com Ritual Evidence Art Gallery of Hamilton 123 King St., Hamilton 905-577-6610 info@artgalleryofhamilton. com
theatre feb.19- feb.27
Ghostkeeper The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
Blue Rodeo Hamilton Place Theatre 8:00 p.m.
your parents told me that you’re a valentine’s baby... write for andy.
feb. 28 mar. 3 mar.4
Bedouin Soundclash The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Precious Fri - Sat: 6:40, 9:20
Posing Beauty Art Gallery of Hamilton 123 King St., Hamilton 905-577-6610 info@artgalleryofhamilton. com
Little Shop of Horrors By Riane Leonard McMaster Musical Theatre 1280 Main Street West mcmastermusicaltheatre. com
Owen Pallett Lincoln Alexander Center 8:00 p.m
Kinnie Star The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Jackson Square Cinema
Tuesdays with Morrie By Jeffrey Hatcher Theatre Aquarius 190 King William St. 1-800-465-7529 boxoffice@theatreaquarius How We First Met By Jill Bourque Staircase Improv 27 Dundurn St. North 905-528-3000 staircaseimprov.com
andy’s pick elvis costello. the poor man’s joe. now
Quest For Fire The Casbah 8:00 p.m
Timbre Timbre The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Valentine’s Day Fri - Sat: 7:10, 10:15
Wilco Hamilton Place Theatre 7:30 p.m.
Rah Rah This Aint Hollywood 8:00 p.m.
The Wolfman Fri - Sat: 7:50, 10:40
Silver Hearts The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Avatar Fri - Sat: 6:50, 10:30
Woodhands This Aint Hollywoood 8:00 p.m.
Street Pharmacy The Casbah 5:00 p.m.
Percy Jackson Fri - Sat: 7:20, 10:20
Big Rude Jack The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Valentine’s Day Percy Jackson The Wolfman
This Aint Hollywood 8:00 p.m.
Woodpigeon The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
United Steel Workers of Montreal
Bryan Sorenson Band Absinthe 9:00 p.m.
Yacht The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Light Divison Absinthe 9:00 p.m.
Straight Reads The Line The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
Attack In Black The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
in the hammer
andy short fiction contest theme is quarterlife crisis 2,500 words deadline is february 22 e-mail andy@ thesil.ca for details
submit to musc b110
thursday, february 11, 2010
and love on the other side of the Atlantic. Some people perform the ultimate in post-break up selfeditorial column improvement, like John grace evans Cusack’s Rob Gordon in High Fidelity who People handle break takes his break up to heart, and ups in a variety of ways. after meticulously organizing his Some people are the record collection, visits his extypes who clean out their room, girlfriends in an attempt to figure vacuum the creases of curtains, out what he keeps doing wrong. Then there are the others. organize their Tupperware, purge The break up victims who spend their closets and collect the dust from forgotten corners. They throw the weeks and months following themselves into work or school, a split in their pajamas, neglecting refocusing energy otherwise spent the dishes and falling behind on moping into productive endeavors. work. Think the opening credit Maybe they turn their energy on sequence in Bridget Jones’ Diary, friends and family, discovering who in which Renee Zellweger sings the important people in their lives Jamie O’Neal’s “All By Myself” are and spending time with them. into the spoon from her carton Maybe they will take a of ice cream, while lying draped rejuvenating trip, like Diane Lane’s across the couch, her hair matted wounded character in Under the and flat from disregard. Or Jason Tuscan Sun, who spontaneously Segal’s character in Forgetting Sarah makes an offer on a beautiful old Marshall, whose stepbrother forces villa in Tuscany and transforms his way into his house to find a her life in the process. Or like mess of epic proportions, and Jason Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslets’ Segal in a dirty robe. Then there is frustrated characters in The Holiday, Adam Sandler’s rendition of “Love who swap homes to heal their Stinks” in The Wedding Singer, aching hearts, and find fulfillment and the unattractive behavior
of Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn’s petty characters in The Break Up, who make every effort to make each other miserable. Yes, I know you’re out there, as I have walked among you. The poor losers. The pathetic, the flannel-clad, and the tear-stained, mascara-streaked faces. This is for you, the hungry, newly appointed exes seeking comfort in overeating: a five-minute recipe for cake, for one.
“good day to spend with the girlfriend or pick up chicks!” alex beis
& christopher chang
“waste of money.” nick watts
top of the mug; this cake is meant to make you happy, not anxious. Allow cake to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. If you’re feeling really sad, why not eat it with lots of rich vanilla ice cream? Go ahead, you deserve it.
Let your heart relax in the knowledge that you’re only five minutes away from chocolate cake, day or night. He or she may not be there for you, but cake is. You’re making cake for one, and it’s okay. This is not meant to endorse binge eating as a regular dietary habit. Just two to three months after break up.
break up cake in five minutes 4 tablespoons flour 4 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa 1 egg 3 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons chocolate chips a small splash of vanilla extract 1 large coffee mug Mix dry ingredients in a large coffee mug, add egg and combine thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil, and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for three minutes on high. Don’t worry if cake rises over the
the big tickle compiled by michelle ng
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D3
q: what do you think of valentine’s day?
“good holiday but it shouldn’t be so expensive.” amin hosseini
“i like it because i have a boyfriend!” catherine sun
“you shouldn’t need a day to celebrate love.” alisa sera garcia
D4 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
return to sender
although it beat avatar at the box office, dear john delivers the same old formula
Dear John Director: Lasse Hallstrom Starring: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried
Dear Nicolas Sparks: Please stop letting visionless movie directors conduct adaptations of your novels. It would be nice if when I was watching television at home, I wasn’t subjected to a barrage of previews for your most recent, clichéd love story, the latest being Dear John. First of all, the title of the movie deserves some explanation. It is after all the audience’s first impression of film—an impression that serves to inform one of what the film will be about, and predicts to them the plot of the whole movie. Historically a “Dear John” letter was a letter that was written to a woman’s husband or boyfriend, telling them that their relationship was over (usually because she has found someone else). The first half of the movie moved
painfully slow, and the script was very minimal. A lot of time was given to the actors simply gazing into each others eyes. Alas, I was rolling mine; there seems to be no real content in the first half of the movie. Indeed, the plot line is very thin and has nothing to rely on to pick it up. Literally in the first two minutes of this movie John (Channing Tatum), jumps into water, shirtless, to retrieve love-interest Savannah’s (Amanda Seyfried) purse. This first encounter is too predictable, and not at all realistic. From this scene alone I knew that this movie would be cliché and barf worthy. So I quickly tried to eat my popcorn so that I could use the bag to throw up in. However, as the second half of the film took a sudden turn for the better, it became apparent that I wouldn’t need to hurl after all. Now, for the majority of the movie John and Savannah are apart, since he is off in the army while she remains at home. However, as the movie took a sad and lonely turn and it began to
look as if there wasn’t going to be a happy ending, I really started to enjoy the movie. The shift in the film when John receives the “Dear John” letter makes no sense at all though. This seems to randomly appear in the plot, leaving the audience confused, because supposedly they were madly in love after only knowing each other for two weeks. Within Nicholas Sparks’ novels, there seems to be a general template— love at first sight, break up, and then death. This film also follows this formula, but is a lot worse then The Notebook. Throughout the whole film I was comparing The Notebook to Dear John in every aspect. Some of the aspects of this film that fell short include Tatum and Seyfried’s lacklustre acting skills and lack of chemistry. The relationship between John and Savannah is not at all convincing; as a romantic couple, they lack the on-screen passion of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. It was also hard to really feel Savannah’s deep emotions for John when
she seems to be absent for a large portion of the film. John’s relationship with his father seems to have more significance in the plot of the film and has more depth and texture than John’s relationship with Savannah. The subplot which includes the father and son issues was more interesting than the primary plot between Savannah and John. This subplot seemed to developed John as a character and made him far more interesting than Savannah. With all of this said, however, I did like the way in which the film finished open-ended (unlike The Notebook’s predictable ending). However, the emotions of the main characters in this film do not seem fully developed and the drama and emotion seems almost still born. The film could have been better done, although I’m not sure what could have actually saved this film from its inevitable demise. Maybe if the director had some vision? • Catherine Brasch
thursday, february 11, 2010
IFC’s newest series depicts relationships and twenty-somethings within the mumblecore genre
I lost interest in television a long time ago. I’ve grown bored with the medium as it has become inundated with the glamorized images of hyper-sexual teens, beleaguered parents, pop stardom and helpless office workers. Television has (unsurprisingly) ignored the compelling stories of postcollegiate life. Unsurprisingly, the internet is the only place which represents this pivotal period in our lives, adequately. One attempt to portray the early stages of adulthood is Joe Swanberg’s Young American Bodies. Now in its fourth season, the webisode loosely follows the daily lives of a group of friends living in Chicago and their romantic trials. Swanberg, a dutiful acolyte of Dogme 95, and the ‘mumblecore’ movement, uses astonishingly realistic dialogue to depict of post-collegiate life. The seven minute episodes, which originally aired on nerve.com, are now available on IFC.com. And although they contain full frontal co-ed nudity and deal unflinchingly with human sexuality, the portrayal of sex in the show, while graphic, is far from pornographic. Swanberg’s goal is not to titillate his audience with the type of airbrushed bodies seen in adult videos, but rather to examine sex as an awkward, tender, beautiful, and sometimes shameful manifestation of human relationships. Young American Bodies centres on four main characters, four periphery characters and their tumultuous relationships. Indeed, the complexities and traumas of love and love lost dominate the first three seasons. Swanberg plays the self deprecating and neurotic Ben; a post-collegiate graduate who is paranoid of being alone. He is initially attracted to his friend, Maggie (Mollie Leibovitz), but this infatuation fades into the background, and is replaced by fleeting, half-hearted relationships with other girls. Similarly, Maggie is obsessed with finding someone to spend time with. Her desire for sex is actually one for human contact. In one particular instance, Maggie moves to LA for a guy she met online, only to return because she felt lonely there. In contrast, Ben and Maggie’s friends Dia (Swanberg’s real wife, and co-producer Kris Williams) and Kelly (Frank Ross) are “stuck” in a committed
relationship. The two struggle with the lure of sexual exploration and breaking free from the confines of a monogamous relationship. Although Dia wants to move in with Kelly, she is reluctant because commitment is deemed to be prison-like. While some critics applaud Swanberg’s minimalist style and consider his adherence to Dogme 95 as “bold” and “refreshing,” Young American Bodies becomes somewhat self indulgent and narcissistic. Swanberg’s portrayal of the mundane lives of young adults suffers from a lack of direction and eventually becomes tedious and repetitive. Conversations and relationships are so fluid they became meaningless and characters come across as apathetic and desensitized. Swanberg’s show degrades into post-college nihilism. Consequently moments of intimacy and sadness feel trite and ultimately destroy the emotional realism that its director seeks. Moreover, Swanberg’s selfconscious fascination with how people in their mid-twenties spend their lives is ironic. Independent film culture has always praised do-it-yourself philosophy; however Young American Bodies, an independent film production paradoxically glamorizes the directionless and idle lives of post-collegiate, pre-marriage adults. Yet, in doing so, he has also made a television show that merely mimics the style of Dogme 95 and cinemaverite documentaries, but lacks any true depth. Although Young American Bodies fails to depict the life of post-collegiate life in an interesting fashion, the show provides a glimmer of hope for people seeking intelligent representations of post-collegiate life. With funding being devoted mostly to over-hyped reality shows and flashy drama, independent television productions have been overlooked or outright dismissed. However, webisodes like Young American Bodies take advantage of the Internet’s ubiquitous nature and demonstrate that they can be successful without a high budget or a big viewership. The internet has provided a unique medium for young independent directors to challenge mainstream television and explore stories that may otherwise be ignored. •Mike Clemens
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D5
D6 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
roll the credits
andy sheds a tear for break-up cinema
Most films about love and relationships tend to have a happy ending. It’s hard to tell if this is due to the tendency of artists to be hopeless romantics, or Hollywood realising that feel-good movies are more profitable. But whatever the case, we all know that most relationships end in heartbreak, humiliation, and excessive overanalyzing of what went wrong. Every few years the odd film is released that truly captures the break up. So as homage to all you jaded singles out there celebrating Valentines’ Day alone, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite break up movies. Woody Allen’s Annie Hall shocked the Academy by taking home the Oscar for Best Picture in 1977 over such films as Star Wars. Arguably Allen’s greatest film, Hall explores the maddening nature of the breakup. Influenced by earlier films such as The Philadelphia Story (1940) and The Apartment (1960), and his own failing relationship with his co-star Diane Keaton, Allen probes the challenges of modern relationships. Allen plays Alvy, a neurotic and inept stand up comedian who experiences a disintegrating relationship with Keaton’s aspiring singer, Annie Hall. The quirky Annie begins as the paranoid girlfriend who feels inadequate compared to Alvy, who is moderately successful. Alvy even puts off moving in with her because he’s feeling restricted by their relationship. But as Annie becomes more aloof, Alvy becomes the insecure boyfriend who follows the increasingly confident Annie to L.A. The jarring push-pull nature of their relationship drives Alvy to the point of insanity. Annie Hall is truly a masterpiece. The film examines the effects of “breaking up” on an individual’s psyche on a deeper level than most films. Annie Hall is a self conscious expression of Allen’s own paranoia about failing relationships. The film functions as memoir of sorts for his fear of relationship failures (he even speaks directly to the camera a la Bergman about his insecurities). Twenty years later, Kevin Smith captured the breakup in his film, Chasing Amy. The bizarre, yet charming offbeat subversion of the romantic comedy genre is about Holden (Ben Affleck), a comic book artist who falls in love with the lesbian, Alyssa (Joey Adams). Kevin Smith deftly examines the sexual double standards implicit in male/female and female/female relationships, and the dull persistence of the male ego. According to Kevin Smith, relationships are driven by psychosexual rivalry and obsession.
Three years later, High Fidelity hit the theatres. Technically High Fidelity is not a break up movie on par with the others, as John Cusack’s Rob gets back together with his ex Laura (Iben Hjejle) in the end. However, since eighty per cent of its subject is about break ups it still makes the cut. Directed by Stephen Frears and adopted from Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name, it’s more comedy than romance. Record store owner Rob is depressed from being dumped by his girlfriend Laura. To understand what went wrong he makes a top five worst break ups list, and seeks out the girls to try and find closure. While Rob initially blames his ex girlfriend’s women for the break ups, when he talks to them it is no longer fully black and white. Cusack is at his finest as he comically overanalyzes everything from relationships to music trivia. While the film does have a happy ending, it’s largely due to Rob coming to terms with his past and insecurities. Additionally, High Fidelity is notable for being Jack Black’s break out role film starring as Barry, Rob’s eccentric record store employee. Independent film has also been a viable source of romance with the likes of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Before Sunset series and, more recently, David Gordon Green’s All the Real Girls from 2003. Telling the story of a small town rogue, Paul (Paul Schneider) unexpectedly falls in love with the virgin sister, Noel (Zooey Deschanel) of his best friend. Of course, with a past like his no one is convinced that his motives are altruistic. Paul and Noel fall in love, and for Paul the relationship has made him a better, more reflective person. While the rift between his best friend and him grows, his relationship with Noel strengthens. Unbeknownst to Paul, however Noel has lost her virginity with a stranger while visiting some friends. Paul lashes out, incredibly affected by Noel’s infidelity. The relationship deteriorates, and Paul is left with a hollow feeling. Noel is remorseful but Paul refuses to forgive her, and the relationship crumbles irreparably. Green unflinchingly looks at how relationships can be destroyed even when an individual’s intentions are well intended and pure. Hollywood’s tendency to recycle the same old romantic formula has become a growing epidemic in an industry that once produced great love stories of passion and heartache. While today’s mainstream taste tends to regrettably favor the uninspired talents of Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, a select group of artists living on tinsel town’s outskirt are still creating and producing memorable pictures that depict real people, in real situations; falling in love, but not always staying together. Yes, real life is sometimes more endearing than living happily ever after. •Noah Nemoy and Mike Clemens
thursday, february 11, 2010
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D7
some bands should stay broken up The cold hard truth is that most good things come to an end. Whether it’s good music, a good relationship, or just straight up good sex, they all climax and eventually reach an end. That end can be anywhere on the breakup spectrum from clean and comfortable goodbyes (not likely) to dragged out enraged battles of separation. Musicians have long had an interesting and effective way of capturing all forms of breakups in songs and albums as many have cycled through countless lovers, musicians and bands, or a mix of all three. And yes, even one of the biggest bands in the world was touched by that bitch of a common denominator we know as “the break up.” While The Beatles may be the first big band breakup that comes to mind, they are not the only ones to have “artistic differences” or “competing egos” resulting in untidy breakups. A few other major names that come to mind are Pink Floyd’s many messy legal battles, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s power struggle and contract complications, and more recently Oasis’s brotherly bond being broken. And yet the list seems to fade out after that. Reunions, hiatuses and replacements have complicated things and made official and definite
breakups almost unheard of. Rage Against the Machine, Boston, Smashing Pumpkins, Deep Purple, April Wine, The Guess Who, and perhaps most infamously the Guns N Roses have shared the same fate as countless other bands that have either partaken in the glorified “reunion tour,” “rebirth” or kept the band name going with a slew of replacements. Once there is a good groove going, untimely deaths seem to be the only thing that can kill the music. The same cannot be said about musicians and their social relationships. In their relationships with music, musicians tend to find a good sound and stick with it, but when it comes to relationships… well let’s just say they like to play a lot instruments before faithfully using just one. As musicians try out instruments of all different body types, sounds, colors, and class, they accumulate the life experience that is reflected upon and shown to the entire world in post break up albums. With its songs revolving around pain, heartache, and loneliness Bob Dylan’s album Blood on the Tracks captures the bitter breakup with his former wife Sara Lownds. Full of pain and regret and supposedly composed after a weekend spent listening to
Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Dylan wrote the opening track Tangled Up In Blue. While the musicality of Tangled Up in Blue does not really echo what you might expect from a traditional breakup, the lyrics speak to a broken heart as clearly as you can expect from Dylan. While Dylan speaks about how “situations have ended sad, relationships have all been bad” the upbeat baselines, catchy melodies and harmonica let the recently dumped know that things aren’t as bad as they seem. Another more contemporary album created as a result of conflicting hearts is Bon Iver’s For Emma Forever Ago. Escaping from the breakup of a band and girlfriend Bon Iver’s leading man Justin Vernon took off to a remote cabin in Wisconsin to complete the recording of For Emma Forever Ago. While the breakups must have been hard on him, the results were stunning. The albums seamlessly and somewhat hauntingly recorded vocals echo an optimistic yet heartbroken soul putting it all on the line. The track “Skinny Love” says it all as it builds up from a wavering innocence to a powerful confidence that prompts the listener to get back into the game of love no matter how many breakups it takes. Just as these folksy albums embody
the breakup and all of its ugly truths in their entirety, many artists have expertly tackled that emotional rollercoaster in single tracks. Johnny Cash’s “So Doggone Lonesome,” the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Cheated Hearts,” John Mayer’s “I Don’t Trust Myself With Loving You,” Led Zeppelin “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” and Neil Young’s “From Hank to Hendrix” are all great instances of tracks that really embody the feelings and emotions of a good ole’ fashioned breakup. Or if you’re just not sure The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” hits the nail on the head. The bottom line is that breakups can be messy, and musicians in their infinite wisdom seem to be able to clean them up. Or at least make them sound nice. The juvenile bickering of The Beatles can be better understood in their lyrics that speak straight from the heart. Music is all about feelings, feelings that cannot be expressed any other way than a clever rhyme, catchy beat, and that mysterious musical magic. Next breakup you have, take a page from the greats and let the music do the talking. •Trevor Roach
D8 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
student written and directed production opens tomorrow
Chalk Lines Written and Directed by: Brad High, Margaret Lintott and Jessica Perkins Starring: Lindsay Baxter and Cary Ferguson Premised on the notion of identity, Chalk Lines depicts the events leading up to the death of Rosalyn Davies, a young stage actress. Equally so, the plot spins a web of relationships, expanding on the spindles of interactions with Rosalyn’s friends, fellow cast members, and family. Essentially a play about a play, about a play, the plot challenges the conventional notion of a linear storyline, using voiceovers and clever methods to shift the audience’s perception of a standard scene. More than once, this had the jarring effect of forcing the viewer to revert to a parallel storyline– Rosalyn’s lines call into question the degree to which human agency is both a consequence of and a catalyst of one’s actions. Through overlapping monologues, the intricate but cohesive storyline prevented any risk of predictability. The play attempts to answer questions of identity though performance, such as “Is identity shaped by the people around you or is it something from within? Is it something we can maintain ourselves or do others determine it?” While some shows default to a barren backdrop for the purposes of simplicity, or to showcase the plot and actors, the use of a chalkboard set required no justification. It was well suited to the idea of layering identities, and reflected their sometimes transient states, reinforcing the concept of identity. For anyone who has ever read the children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon, this show was definitely reminiscent of the ways in which Harold charted his narratives, progressions, and settings. Imaginatively drawing his story with only one prop – his purple crayon – the simple figures give way to allow the reader (or the audience of a play) to bring outlines to life. Occasionally during the dress rehearsal, the delivery of some lines felt somewhat over-emphatic. Monologues were expressed with conviction, but may have occasionally lacked emotional nuances. This did not, however, deter from the provocative message of the show as a whole. It was both entertaining and bright. Overall, Chalk Lines succeeded in taking on oftendark subject matter with a unique approach, deconstructing archetypes and rousing questions of how perspectives shape identity. Chalk Lines runs Thursday Feb. 11th and Friday the 12th, with shows at 12:30pm and 8pm each day. Tickets are free, and performances play at the Robinson Memorial Theatre in Chester New Hall, Room 103. •Julie Compton
thursday, february 11, 2010
off the rack
Blankets By Craig Thompson. Top Shelf Productions, 2003. If you have ever lost something precious, you’ll know the heartache that comes along with it. But, as Pulitzer Prize-winner Jules Feiffer has said, “that which goes awry in life, goes well as art.” Craig Thompson’s illustrated memoir Blankets illuminates that sentiment, with 582 black-and-white pages dripping with moody emotion. The inky art of Blankets is rich with quilt-like recurring patterns and motifs, which he cleverly overlays with his dialogue and narration to generate the most poignant of metaphors. Spanning nine thematic chapters, the central story recalls the isolation of Thompson’s religious childhood and youth through the lens of his time spent under blankets -- be it sharing a bed with his younger brother or innocently spending the night with his first-love. Subtly woven throughout the plot are Thompson’s musings on how adolescent romantic relationship serves as an analogy for his spiritual relationship with
under the radar God… or is it the other way around? Through these reminiscences, the ‘nakedness’ that comes with intimacy is exposed, along with the loneliness that comes in its absence, with nothing to cover your shame but blankets. While the tenderness with which the story is told might seem soppy, Thompson’s self-pitying is told with such honesty that it could wring out sympathy from even the most cynical reader. What makes Blankets so impressive is not just Thompson’s mastery of the medium, but also in his ability to tell such a lengthy, hyperpersonal story while still keeping it universal. The story reveals how a passion can burn so hot that it devours itself. Which is not to say that the passion was not a genuine one, only that it shifts, wanes, vanishes. Love, like this life, is an intrinsic source of meaning and joy, but it doesn’t have to last forever. And not only is that okay, that’s what makes it beautiful. In the end, Craig finds the relief and personal reprieve that comes from letting go. Purging himself of sin, of obsession, he is free to rest in the comfort that someone else has shared in his experience. Blankets’ epilogue ends with Craig trudging through a winter forest, his footsteps filling in with fresh snowfall as he moves forward: “How satisfying it is to leave a mark… no matter how temporary.” Boy, and all that in a silly comic? •Jordan Collver
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D9 wrangler blue bell eu.wrangler.com/bluebell
off the web dear old love dearoldlove.tumblr.com Dear Old Love is a collection of short notes written to people that the authors loved or liked, regardless of whether the affection was requited or not. All notes are posted anonymously, emailed to the curator Andy Selsberg, who has also published a collection of the notes in book format. This week’s notes includes “Sometimes I wish I were a zombie so you’d love me as much as that video game.” The notes communicate the way that emotions are expressed in stilted, indecipherable ways, as conveyed by the note that reads, “When I gave you that burrito, I was saying that I wanted us to get back together.” My personal favourite is the critical note: “I love my dog even though he doesn’t have a job, clean up after himself, have a driver’s license, or help out around the house. And he sometimes makes a mess on the floor. However, it was unfair for you to expect me to love you under those same conditions.” •Grace Evans
Wrangler jeans may have inadvertently created the perfect web site for that quick, violent post-breakup cathartic release. Although you’re supposed to use the flash animations of their burly male models to imagine how Wrangler’s denim wear would look on you, it’s way more fun to use your mouse for the unauthorized purpose of throwing them around. Not only is this site nifty, but it’s also a great way to get out all that pent up frustration. Sexy. •Corrigan Hammond le love leloveimage.blogspot.com Their first post was titled “WE’RE SO FAIRYTALE IT MAKES PEOPLE SICK,” but it seems as though Le Love has developed beyond the monotonous clichés of romance. This site is also strewn with heartache, both touching and nauseating; amusing posts detailing the desperation in break-ups. Le Love offers an array of empathy for you, you poor bastard, wallowing in your relationships past and brooding over your unrequited love for your TA. A recent post gave a recipe for a cutesy microwaveable mug-sized cupcake, but let’s be serious - in the throes of a break-up, you might just want the whole damn cake. • Julie Compton
D10 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
soaring song With the release of Woodpigeon’s third album, Die Stadt Muzikanten, Mark Hamilton, the Calgary-based front man for the indie-folk collective, is hoping to win over Canadian audiences in much the same way that the group’s previous releases have done in Europe. Indeed, Hamilton founded the group while living in an Edinburgh hostel five years ago. Since then Woodpigeon has ballooned in size— boasting a rotating cast of over sixty musicians who live in a variety of different locales. “They’re kind of all over the place,” Hamilton explained to me. “There’s a member who lives in the middle-east, who has flown to meet me in Europe in the past. It just works in a way that makes thing more interesting, and it’s cool that the songs can then belong to a lot of people and I like the way it works, because I don’t really get bored of playing with the same people, because it’s always somebody different,” he continued. Despite performing with such a differing array of musicians, Hamilton has never played in a band with a standard lineup. “You know, I was talking about that yesterday,” Hamilton laughed. “And I kind of want that too! I’d like to be in a band as well which is like a ‘band-band,’ with like four people, [where] everybody writes and we’d just put our heads together and, you know, get in a van. The way Woodpigeon works really is just it’s me and some friends,” he continued. “It’s a really cool and interesting way to run things, but I don’t really have band-band experience. I have my little friendly dictatorship.” His new album Die Stadt Muzikanten, seems to be a reflection of a similar yearning within Hamilton’s music. “All of [my] records have a similar sense of narrative to them,” he explained. “I guess the only real difference is that this time there is a bigger cast of characters. [On] the other
records I’m the character, this is what’s going on and its told in chronological narratives. But on this one I wanted flashbacks, and I wanted an ensemble [of characters.] … There are a few [different narrative voices in each song,] but I’m still there too. It goes back and forth. But it’s more people this time.” Much of the new album is inspired by Hamilton’s extensive travelling throughout Europe. “I did a lot of writing in Germany,” he told me. “I did a lot of writing in France. I did a lot of in Lithuania. Poland is somewhere that I’m aching to get back to. … Bulgaria is somewhere I went this past May and just got really inspired with the folk music that they have there. Because you come off around parts of Bulgaria and there are always people playing music in the streets.” “I think that everything we do is really distinctly tied to the place that we are in,” he continued, explaining the different sonic energies that he feels as he travels. “There is something about walking through a city like Berlin where you’re just constantly amazed. And I guess people who grew up in Berlin maybe don’t have that same kind of impression of it. That’s what they’re used to, and that’s the same thing as when I have friends from Europe come visit me in Calgary and I take them here. I’m like ‘OK, well it’s not like the most exciting place on earth.’ … Then they’ll look out over the mountain and be blown away. Maybe it’s just an act of being somewhere other than that which you know the best,” he explained. As Hamilton leads Woodpigeon on an extensive cross-country tour this winter, it will be interesting to see the ways in which the distinct energy of Canada’s cities seeps into his future music. You can catch Woodpigeon at the Casbah on Feb 15. •Corrigan Hammond
thursday, february 11, 2010
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D11
featured review Massive Attack Heligoland
After a period of scoring movie soundtracks, Massive Attack has created Heligolan, a bizarre sounding record that is both alike and starkly different from their previous records. The darkly soft songs on Heligolan are smaller than anything from those on their 1998 masterpiece Mezzanine. The arrangements heard in the music often sound discordant – the vocals by Martina Topley-Bird on the song “Psyche” compete with the backing synthesizers rather than accompany them. Overall, Heligoland could be described as different sounds rubbing against each other. It is sometimes messy, but mostly it works, creating an experience that almost holds up to Massive Attack’s earlier material. “Paradise Circus” in particular is among their best, a slow song dripping with sharp drum beats, heavy background synthesizers against a light piano, and soft vocals by Hope Sandoval. An uneven release, but the highlights are enough to prove that Massive Attack still has something to them. •Derek Hung
Hollerado Record In A Bag
Hollerado is a fresh sounding band from a small, Ottawa suburb. Their sound is a cross between Weezer (during the time when they were actually good) and the Strokes (before they became a mess). It seems the only way to describe Hollerado’s style of music, is a revival of the old and great songs from the nineties. I could picture their songs in those teen movies -- maybe even in a Micheal Cera flick. The melodies are catchy and the vocals and instruments are very well conducted. When you listen to this album you can’t help but want to jump up and dance along (or maybe for the meek at heart just tap your foot along). The album is full of catchy guitar riffs and delightful vocal arrangements that pull the whole record together. This album is wonderfully composed of teenage angst in a tasteful way. •Catherine Brasch
Los Campesinos! Romance is Boring
Shook Ones The Unquotable A.M.H.
Los Campesinos! are a raucous seven-piece indie pop band from Cardiff, Wales that use a healthy dose of twee to construct quirky, catchy tunes. Romance is Boring’s lyrics reflect the album title’s apathetic attitude towards relationships, which many angst-ridden youths in their early twenties can relate to. Vocalist, Gareth, yelps and croons these idiosyncratic lyrics that read as if they’ve been ripped straight from his very wry, yet honest, journal entries. The seven members provide a very full sound that can, at times, feel a little overcrowded with the variety of instruments on the record. And for the most part it works cohesively. The same can be said for the fact that the track list boasts fifteen songs (which means many songs are relegated to the role of ‘filler’). Regardless, it’s a record with a lot of energy and wit that will empower all those self-loathing singletons out there. •Ben Small
At the very least if a band is going to rip off another older group’s sound, they had better make sure that the music is enjoyable. And this is the case of Shook One—whose previous releases tended to feature the band doing their best impressions of melodic, hardcore pioneers Kid Dynamite. On The Unquotable A.M.H., Shook Ones manage to shrug off some of the comparisons and develop a tighter, more original effort. This record slows down the tempo and injects a healthy dose of pop sensibility. Don’t let this fool you though. Shook Ones still play fast, gritty hardcore with buzz saw guitars and indecipherable vocals, but with an added catchiness missing on previous records. As Shook Ones continue to mature and leave their own stamp on the hardcore genre, perhaps one day other bands will also rip their sound off. •Chris Hoy
D12 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, february 11, 2010
extreme cinema the banff film festival drops in at mac
For 34 years The Banff Film Festival has taken films about extreme sports and nature and screened them across the world. The film festival has been from China to Chile, and Austria to Antarctica. However, last Tuesday was a historic night as it was the first time that the festival had a Hamilton screening, right here at McMaster University. McMaster also held the honour of being the first university to host a screening, and if were not for the efforts of the McMaster Outdoors Club the event would not have been possible. The three hour film festival consisted of six short films and two mid-length ones, all of which were a treat to watch. Most of the shorter films chronicled outdoor sports. David McMahon’s The Ultimate Skiing Showdown was a Canadian film showing a champion cross country skiing race with clips of stunt performer skiers juxtaposed in. It was all humorously edited to choreograph with Lemon Demon’s “The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.” France’s MedeoZ chronicled photographer Guillaume Broust’s attempt to take a photograph of his six favourite winter sports; climbing, skiing, snowboarding, speed riding, paragliding and base jumping taking place simultaneously on the same mountain. It was both humorous and amazingly choreographed. Another French film, Didier Lafond’s Mont Blanc Speed Flying won Best Short Film. The film was a continuous ten minute shot of six speed riders racing down a mountain. Not only was it visually stunning but the speed riders were expertly choreographed. They preformed almost inhuman stunts on their ride down both on the mountain and the air and their constant crossing
of paths was both exhilarating and frightening to watch. Canada’s Bjørn Enga’s Kranked — Revolve showcased mountain bikers in both France and Canada. Be it in a mountain bike race or on a trick jump park it showcased the agility and talent of extreme mountain bikers. The film also gave us a bit of a glimpse at the bikers’ personal lives. The biker stunts were also expertly choreographed and a thrill to watch. Masaki Sekiguchi’s Deep/Shinsetsu was a long tale of a skier traversing through Japan’s extremely deep powdercovered mountains. This Japanese film was both beautiful in how the skier danced with the powder and a testament to his athleticism. The finale was German comedy Project Megawoosh which won a Special Jury Mention. German engineer Bruno Kammell has an almost childish fascination with water slides and set out to build the tallest waterslide in human history. While mostly humorous, not only did Bruno accomplish an impressive feat of engineering but his test run was one of the most impressive stunts of the festival. The longer films were Canada’s Finding Farley and America’s First Ascent: Alone on the Wall. While the shorts were mainly focused on visual stunts due to their lengths, the longer films had far more depth and personal drama. Finding Farley, the winner of the Grand Prize, was about two Farley Mowat enthusiasts Leanne Allison and Karsten Heuer who decide to canoe across Canada from Calgary to Cape Breton. Bringing their two year-old son Zev and their dog along with them, they set out to retrace the steps of their favourite author in the Prairies, the sub-Arctic, and the Maritimes. The film contains breathtaking scenery of Canadian nature but
also shows how much Canada has changed since Farley’s day. Much of the film is bittersweet. The wildlife of the Prairies have been displaced by the urban sprawl of Saskatoon, the natives of the Far North have abandoned their traditional lifestyles, and Newfoundland towns are left deserted as former fishermen leave for the oil sands. However, much of the scenery and wildlife from mosquito swarms to wolves and polar bears, that made Mowat’s novels so influential, are still there. Our travellers even fail at their quest at times, having to take cars, trains, and ferries when it gets to be too much for them, but what they accomplished is still impressive. First Ascent: Alone on the Wall introduces us to twenty year-old Alex Honnold. Despite his geeky exterior Alex is the best free solo climber in the world, a rock climber who uses no equipment whatsoever. Alex sets out to climb Utah’s Moonlight Buttress and Yosemite’s Half Dome. He’s the first free solo climber to try this and a single slip up could mean he falls to his death. Despite often a single finger in a crack in the rock-face being the only thing preventing an over hundred meter fall and a mid climb nervous breakdown, Alex manages to persevere. The film is an impressive look at the professional and personal life of one of the world most amazing, and insane, athletes. As a whole the Banff Film Festival was a fun watch. Be it breathtaking scenery or amazing feats of human athleticism, it makes the viewer fall in love with nature. If you didn’t manage to catch it there’s good news though; McMaster University has been added to the screening roster so they’ll be back with a new batch of films next year. •Noah Nemoy