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Anyone can contribute to The Underground. The process of writing for The Underground is very simple; send a short message to editor@the-underground. ca with your intent to join our writer’s list. Thereafter, every month, our content and online editors will send out a list of article topics (called skeds) for you to pick from. You don’t have to write for every issue – when you want to write is completely up to you. You can reply back to those emails and let the editors know which topic you want to write about. If you have an idea you would like to pitch to a section, just email the editor in question or catch them at our writers’ meeting. Our writers’ meetings are held 24 hours before skeds are sent out, so join us if you would like the first pick at articles. Information on our writers’ meeting is available with our publication schedule on our website.

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CONTENTS

NEWS 6 HOW FAR WILL CAMPUS POLICE GO FOR OUR SAFETY? 8 BANNING LAPTOPS IN CLASSROOM 9 ETHIOPIAN STUDIES AT U OF T 10 POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION: THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT FEATURE 12 THE UNDERGROUND AT TIFF 17 TAKING A DIP IN THE UNCANNY VALLEY ARTS & LIFE 20 I AM NOT YOUR COSTUME 22 EXPLORING THE SELF THROUGH ART 24 EXPANDING IDENTITY WITH ARTSIDEOUT 26 OCTOBER HOROSCOPES SCIENCE & TECH 28 THE DARK PLACES 29 CINEMATIC SCARES 30 SUSTAINABILITY CORNER 32 THE FIZZLE AFTER THE SWEET 34 NOT SO BLACK, BLACK HOLES SPORTS & WELLNESS 36 TPASC01: INTRO TO ATHLETICS 38 RAPTORS: A NEW BEGINNING 40 CHALLENGING “HEALTHY” 42 LIVING THE DOUBLE LIFE OPINION 46 THE MISUSE AND DESENSITIZATION OF WORDS


“W HA T WO U L D Y O U S A Y , TO H AV E Y O U R W A Y ? / WO UL D YO U G I V E I T U P OR T RY A G A I N ? ”

CONTACT THE UNDERGROUND 1265 MILITARY TRAIL, ROOM SL-234 SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO M1C 1A4 (416) 287-7054 EDITOR@THE-UNDERGROUND.CA

ISSUE/ 02 O C T O B E R

The sky was the kind of grey that I hadn’t seen before. The sun had been fighting between bouts of showers, but it was mostly gloomy on my ride to the airport. Our car glided down the road showing off the varying greens of the forest that cradled the mountain highway. As we made a bend in the road, our car skidded and did a complete donut in the road. We stopped right at the railing that, had it not been there, prevented us from going over. Scary moments like these, that seemed only familiar to me through television shows, made way for a pretty large epiphany. While I’ve done everything humanly possibly to schedule and plan ahead as much as I can, I’ve come to realize more and more that there are certain parts of my future that are beyond my control. It’s scary to not know what lies ahead. My day-to-day actions became much more amplified since. I had become more hesitant towards things that I wasn’t sure of what the final outcome could be. Applying for graduate school seemed like huge step into a dark abyss and I felt more inclined to not take any risks by limiting what I could and couldn’t do to what I was familiar with. To exist on a pendulum of things in and outside of our control can be frightful to some, but acknowledging that fear is the first step. That’s what I needed to do and that’s the advice I would pass on to anyone who has felt this way in the past, or still does. The unknown is frightening, and you don’t need to brush by a tragic accident to know the reality of that statement. Your time here will be accompanied by things that will require you to take a dip into the pool of uncertainty; joining new clubs, attending various events, finishing assignments right before 11:59 PM without knowing how they truly turned out. But you’ll never know the direction of anything until you take the first step.


EDITORIAL

ART

OPERATIONS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF SHARINE TAYLOR

PHOTO EDITOR NOOR AQIL

FINANCE OFFICER TINA CHAN

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR ZARIN TASNIM

ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR IDIL DJAFAR

OPERATIONS OFFICER LINA SHIM

NEWS EDITOR MARJAN ASADULLAH SCIENCE & TECH EDITOR KRISTINA DUKOSKI MANAGING EDITOR NANA FRIMPONG COPY EDITORS ASHLEEN GRANGE ARANI MURUGESAPILLAI NEWS ASSOCIATE NIDA ZAFAR STAFF WRITER SAM NATALE

CONTRIBUTORS PARVIN ATAYEE, PAVITURA KANAGASABAI, MARCUS MEDFORD, KHYRSTEN MIERAS, SITHARSANA SRITHAS, MICHAEL CHEN, SAMANTHA RYAN, ROBIN JACOB, R.J APARATO, JADE ACUÑA, PRIYANKA CHALLA, JEAN-MICHEL BOUDREAU, RAGHAD A.K, LEAL COOMBSKING, SARAH SIDDIQI

GRAPHICS EDITOR ELIZABETH LIU PRODUCTION EDITOR RACHEL CHIN

ONLINE ONLINE CONTENT EDITOR REBECCA KOTOSIC ONLINE PHOTO EDITOR SADIAH RAHMAN ONLINE GRAPHICS EDITOR CHRISTINE LUM WEB EDITOR AKBER WAHID

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER MATTHEW “MICCO” DIAZ ADVERTISING MANAGER AGRIN PARTOVYAN DIGITAL CONTENT STRATEGIST ALLYSHA YUNG

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MAS T MASTHE A D HEAD


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ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

www. the-underground.ca

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


NEWS

7

How Far Will Campus Police Go For Our Safety? Marjan Asadullah, News Editor Earlier this summer, a UTSC student named ‘Amy’ -- granted anonymity for personal safety -- was allegedly followed by an unknown man near the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. The student claims that when she reported the incident to campus police, she received little to no response about the case. Amy sent an email to the campus police director Gary Pitcher, as well as other staff at UTSC, to inform them about the incident. In the email, Amy wrote that on June 21, at approximately 4:40 p.m., a man followed her from the North Entrance of TPASC, up to the corner of her residential street, on the southwest corner of Morningside Ave. and Tams Rd. She stayed at that corner until he left, out of fear that he might follow her to her home. She was afraid to make a phone call due to the possibility of him hearing the conversation. He eventually left, and Amy ran home contemplating whether she should report the incident to campus police because it had initially taken place on UTSC grounds. That same day, around 8:25 p.m., Amy called campus police to report the incident. She recalls that before being put on the line, she was redirected a couple of times until someone finally answered her call. When they answered, the person that spoke with her supposedly “had little to no regard as to what had happened.” Instead of asking for more information about the incident or how she was doing, the respondent purportedly replied with the following: “Why didn’t you call 9-1-1?” During that same call, Amy was allegedly told that because the man followed her beyond UTSC grounds (outside of TPASC), they were unable to do anything about the issue. She was instead told to contact the Toronto Police. “I have never felt my voice more silenced than when I experienced this incident with campus police,” Amy wrote.

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Amy did not request for an investigation or have a search warrant out for the stalker. however, she does in fact wonder why it is that campus police did not acknowledge that the incident took place or log the information. She believes, as noted in her email, that students should be aware of this information. When our news associate asked to speak with an officer on campus to get a comment about the incident, the officer spoke very briefly. Officer Tom Mcilhone, who is listed as the UTSC Campus Community Police’s Manager, did not want the interview to be recorded, but did acknowledge that the incident took place saying, “The call was reported to the central system, and then to Toronto Police for further investigation.” He said the situation was “discussed with the student, and the case was handled.” However, Amy recalls the situation differently. After her experience with campus police she says, “I was fortunate enough to confide with a professor here on campus, and she got me in touch with Gary Pitcher, who took care of it himself. He listened to the phone call and was upset, and then he got a constable to take a statement from me. He said they were going to take appropriate action as to what was going on, and why campus police weren’t doing their jobs, but I haven’t heard a follow up from him since then.” The phone call was recorded, a statement was taken, but allegedly no follow up conversation occurred. Amy adds, “The fact alone that I live so close to campus, and Pam Am is near my house, and [campus] police are saying that they can’t do anything about it? How different is it if I get murdered, or something had happened on campus, and my body gets dragged outside and campus police are saying they can’t do anything about it, even though the incident could initially occurred within their jurisdiction. God forbid [if what] happen[ed] with the woman in the Brock Turner case happen[ed] to me. But if campus police isn’t

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

willing to take something like this incident seriously, what more will other women who experience very severe violence do? It’s very silencing (sic).” In the last couple of months, social media has been blowing up with news of former Stanford swimmer, now a registered sex offender, Brock Turner’s case. He recently completed his three-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious girl. This case, has once again reignited a worldwide conversation about the safety of students on university and college campuses. When it comes to cases like Amy’s, they often go unreported. “I’m kind of over it,” says Amy. “I want to move on, and want to focus on how to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.” She continues, “One really good thing is that I’ve been involved with organizations, and we’re having a student lead conversation about Bill C132. This is premier Kathleen Wynne asking that universities and colleges have an updated policy in regards to sexual violence, and it has to be consulted by the students.” In fact, the university has sent out an email to all U of T students about the draft of the new policy on sexual violence, and it encourages student’s comments and feedback, as it will come into effect Jan.1, 2017. The sexual violence and harassment prevention plan aims to assist students with aid and support on all three campuses to ensure the students feel safe. The Dean of Law Mayo Moran told The Star the policy will be created so “that sexual assault and harassment will not be tolerated on campus.” Amy does not have anything against campus police, or police in general, but, she does think that “Having police presence on campus doesn’t always mean that you will be safe. What if someone, such as myself, has had a bad experience with them that could be triggering and could cause more harm? Not to say police are bad, but it’s something to be mindful about.”

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IDIL DJAFAR / THE UNDERGROUND

BANNING LAPTOPS IN CLASSROOM

Marcus Medford, Contributor As technology starts playing a bigger role in our daily lives, older and slower media are being replaced by their digital counterparts. Instead of going to the bank to pay for a bill, you can do so online or through your mobile device. Instead of meeting someone in person, you can swipe right on Tinder. A similar situation is occurring in universities, where notes written by pen and paper are being replaced by typing. Using a laptop to take notes would seem to be the logical choice, considering the average student can type 33 words-per-minute, compared to the 22 wordsper-minute of students who write their notes. However, research by psychologists at Princeton and UCLA have found that students who handwrite notes tend to score better on tests and exams than those who type out their notes. These results prompted Rutgers Law School professor Stuart Green to propose a ban on using laptops during classes, preferring that students focus on the material being taught. Green isn’t alone in his thinking. Professor Waheed Hussain, a professor of philosophy at UTSC, has been enforcing a no-laptop in lectures policy since 2009. Understandably, some students get upset about the restriction on their precious devices, but Hussain believes it’s for the best. “It’s important to shut everything out and focus on material which can be very demanding, and you can’t do that if you have one foot in the classroom and one foot in the lives of the Kardashians,” he says. “You’re never again going to be in a room where 500 people are really www. the-underground.ca

listening to you and your ideas; it’s a unique and important opportunity, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly,” he adds. The internet can be a tempting misstress, and its negative impact on our brains has been well documented. According to a recent study, the average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to eight since 2000 -- indicative of an attention span worse than a goldfish, if you ask me. Writing with pen and paper requires more focus than using a laptop and copying lecture notes word-for-word. “Students who were taking longhand notes were forced to be more selective and that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them,” explained Princeton’s Pam A. Mueller in an interview with NPR. Not everyone is convinced that handwriting notes is the way to go however. Haykuhi Avdalyan, a fifth-year human biology student at UTSC says she uses her laptop as an aid to access information. “Laptops are meant to make our lives easier by allowing us to take notes, download lecture slides, find references from the books, [and] Google facts,” she argues. “By not allowing students to take notes in class, professors actually hinder the learning process.” For some students, writing notes by hand is too cumbersome; for others, it’s too difficult to decipher their own handwriting; however, for students that face challenges that are more significant, having access to laptops in lectures is a must. Some students have even dropped a course because the professor would not allow the use of laptops. Not being able to use laptops in lecture raises barriers that can affect people with various mental or physical disabilities, both visible and invisible. OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

The Students for Barrier-Free Access (SBA) is a non-profit student group that represents disabled students at the University of Toronto. In an email interview with advocacy/ volunteer coordinator Nadia Kanani, and Gelareh Alaei, the SBA co-chair, they explained that different students have different learning and note-taking methods. “It is essential that post-secondary be accessible to people with all kinds of learning styles, rather than asking them to conform to one style of learning,” they wrote. UTSC’s AccessAbility Services provides students with disabilities various accommodations so they can get the help they require. For example, a student with a visual impairment will require typed notes that can be read using a screen magnifier or screenreading software. However, not all students who need AccessAbility Services register for them. This can happen because the student is unaware of the services offered, they don’t have the required documentation (learning-disability assessments can cost up to $2000), and/or other reasons not listed here. Some students argue that because they pay such high fees for their education, they should be able to take notes however they see fit. Hussain rejects the notion that using social media in lectures is innocuous, claiming that internet use in lectures is “insulting, and damages the environment of the class.” He adds, “You can pay money to go and see a movie, but that doesn’t mean you get to jump up and down and do a dance in the middle of the theatre.” Professors can accommodate to the needs of students as long as it is necessary and isn’t hindering to the flow of the lecture; however, students need to be mindful about having laptops and phones out during lectures, especially when it’s not being used for classroom purposes, as it can cause more damage to the students around them. VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


NEWS

9

RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

ETHIOPIAN STUDIES AT

U OF T Khyrsten Mieras, Contributor Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is a Grammy award-winning R&B artist who recently donated $50 000 to the startup of the University of Toronto’s Ethiopian Studies program. Tesfaye was contacted by the Bikila Award organization, which aims to “foster academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism within EthiopianCanadians.” Tesfaye confirmed his generous donation to the program, tweeting, “Sharing our brilliant and ancient history of Ethiopia. Proud to support the studies in our homie town through @ UofT‬‬ and @bikilaaward‬.‬ ” The Scarborough native has a strong connection to Ethiopian culture and history. In 2014, Tesfaye was a recipient of the Bikila Award’s Professional Excellence Award for his many achievements in the music industry. UofT history professor Michael Gervers says that “Practically everyone in the world under the age of 30 knows about The Weeknd. That single donation has raised the visibility of the whole project enormously.” Gervers has previously taught Ethiopian history courses at the UTSC campus and at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He is a leading advocate for the Ethiopian Studies program, which expands on his three decades of research and travel throughout the East African country. Gervers donated $50 000 of his own money to the program, stipulating that the university and surrounding community match his contribution. These contributions have since been made by UofT’s Faculty of Arts and Sci-

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ence and the Bikila Awards. According to professor Tim Harrison, chair of the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations department, the university is close to reaching its target goal of $200 000 in total funds needed to launch the program. The university has the ability to generate millions of dollars from tuition and other sources in order to fund programs it finds profitable; however, programs and courses that focus on the history of minorities, as well as racialized groups and their backgrounds, tend to be a smaller feature at most universities, while courses on global events like WWI and WWII are more widely offered. This is due to a number of reasons, including that of profit and budget factors, which are major influences on program and course funding. Another reason for underfunding is the perception of employability challenges; students are often under the assumption that such programs offer limited career opportunities, or are unaware of the opportunities that do exist. Therefore, many students instead opt to choose more “practical” programs. The primary reason for underfunding is a general lack of popularity for Ethiopian Studies. In a recent speech, Gervers explained, “The history of a culture distinguishes people from any other, and provides them with a sense of their uniqueness. It also serves as a sort of pride, and consequently of self-confidence. The importance of knowing one’s cultural history is to provide one with a firm foundation upon which to comprehend the present and build a future.” Gervers continued, ”Unfortunately, the younger generation living in Ethiopia today show little interest in that extensive past

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

which preceded the Italian Occupation from 1936-41.” Therefore, it is up to universities to spread awareness on this issue, and assist in the development of minority-based programs. The establishment of UofT’s Ethiopian Studies program will allow students to experience and study Ethiopian culture and history through art, literature and language, while complimenting the currently offered ethnic programs. Harrison stated of the program, “Ethiopian Studies is a great way to enrich our curriculum in African Studies, because it is one of the great civilizational cultures of Africa and the world.” Taylor, a second-year international development and African studies student thinks that “the Ethiopian Studies program sounds interesting, and is a really unique opportunity for UTSC. I look forward to seeing how it impacts the current African Studies program here. Hopefully it will create some new and exciting opportunities, as well as help to expand the currently small program we have.” The program will place an emphasis on the experiences and perspectives of Ethiopian people, as well as the relationships amongst them. This will create a sense of identity and understanding for Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian students alike. Ultimately, the program will help to ensure the preservation of Ethiopia’s cultural and heritage within and outside of Toronto. The University of Toronto is set to begin offering courses from its Ethiopian Studies program in the spring of 2017, with Ge’ez -- which is also called Ancient Ethiopic, and is a classical language of Ethiopia -- as the first course offered.

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


10 NE W S RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

POST-SECONDARY

EDUCATION: THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT

www. the-underground.ca

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


N E W S 11

Sitharsana Srithas, SCSU VP External Ontario has been, and continues to be, the highest tuition-paying province in the country. According to Statistics Canada, average tuition fees for the 2015-16 academic year were $7 868 for undergraduate students, up from $7 539 in 2014-15. Despite the fact that Ontario students continue to pay higher fees in comparison to the rest of Canada, Ontario students still face the largest class sizes, have the worst studentteacher ratio, and the lowest per-student funding allocation in all of Canada. The people hit hardest by costly tuition fees are Indigenous, racialized, queer and trans folks, people with disabilities, people raised in single-parent homes, and people from lowincome families. Public education should not contribute to the further marginalization of these communities by placing the worst financial burdens on them. Affordable education removes the upfront financial barriers to access post-secondary education for every student. To address the decades-long trend of rising tuition fees, the Canadian Federation of Students -- Ontario along with students from universities and colleges across the province, came together to launch a new campaign, called Fight the Fees. Fight the Fees demands that the provincial government reduces, and eventually eliminates tuition fees, converts the provincial portion of OSAP into grants, and removes interest on all existing student loans. Fight the Fees stemmed from the proactive approach to address the four-year tuition fee framework that is coming to an end in 2017. Ontario students were successful in 2013, when the tuition fee framework was introduced, and were able to lower tuition fee increases from five per cent to three per cent for most undergraduate programs; however, with the tuition fee framework coming to an end next year, it’s a great opportunity to further advocate for universal access

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to education. In a weak attempt to address the inaccessibility and high cost of post-secondary education, the provincial Liberals announced in the last budget that they would be providing “free education” to students in Ontario through the Ontario Student Grants (OSG). Although it is great to hear our government talk about free education in Canada, it is false to claim that the Ontario Student Grants is free education. Public education is a public good, a good that everyone benefits from. Instead of giving out loans, or providing grants that are not widely accessible by all, the government should address the price tag that is attached to our education. Apart from the laughable claim of education being free for all, the OSG also excludes large parts of the student demographic. As it stands, the OSG excludes part-time students and international students. Under the current system, international students are exploited by universities, paying four or five times more than a domestic student, and the OSG will do nothing to end this. Regardless of where you were born or how many classes you can manage a semester, everyone should be able to access higher education. Recognizing that although education is under provincial jurisdiction, the lack of access and affordability of education is a national issue. As a call for action, students are mobilizing across the country for our vision for post-secondary education in Canada. Generations of students in Canada have taken up this fight. We are stronger together and have achieved important victories for accessible education. Join students all the way from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, as we hit the streets on Nov. 2 to fight for a system of public post-secondary education that is accessible to everyone. For more information about the Fight the Fees campaign at UTSC and/or the National Student Day of Action on November 2nd, contact Sitharsana Srithas at external@scsu.ca.

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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1 2 FE AT U R E

THE THE Unde rgro Under grounD at TIFF Zarin Tasnim, Arts & Life Editor

September not only marks the beginning of the school year, but an exciting time for Toronto as movie makers and movie lovers get together for two weeks to enjoy the best of festival films. From the 8th to the 18th, various cinemas across the city hosted screenings for over 100 films. A few of The Underground contributors and masthead had the opportunity to watch and review some of the brilliant films for this year’s festival.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TIFF RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

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OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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F E AT U R E 13

Queen of Katwe Zarin Tasnim, Arts & Life Editor Queen of Katwe is the inspirational tale of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess player, played by newcomer actress Madina Nalwanga. The film begins in 2007, where Phiona is seen trudging through the slums of Katwe, selling maize alongside her brother, Mugabi Brian (Martin Kanbaza), to support their single mother Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o). One day, Phiona follows Brian to discover that he has been learning to play chess from coach Robert Katende (David Oyelowo). Fascinated by the game, she begins to train under his guidance, all the while dealing with difficulties back home. Through Katende’s coaching, Phiona improves significantly in playing chess pieces and thinking critically, despite having never gone to school herself. She wins her first tournament at a local competition at Kings College Budo, and from there starts her successful streak at winning matches. The film’s director, Mira Nair, effectively captures the doubts and struggles Phiona goes through to work on her passion for chess. In most cases, students in North America have the resources to pursue what they aspire to achieve. With Phiona, it was a matter of having money for her family’s survival, and making the choice to stay home and study chess, which was initially discouraged by her mother. Throughout the film, Nyong’o’s character Nakku remains pessimistic after her husband dies of AIDS. As a single mother, she is constantly persuaded to remarry, but does not, as she continues to fiercely protect her children. This movie is important to watch because of its focus on a black-centric narrative that isn’t about slavery or racism. Despite living in poverty, Phiona’s success is not one without trials. Indeed, it is her failures that give the movie the realism that many inspirational movies often lack. This is a film that anyone, whether you’re planning a movie night with roommates, or a day at the theatres with the family, will enjoy.

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Re(assignment) Michael Chen, Contributor Contract killers, plastic surgeons, and gender reassignment surgery are all part of the unusual combination that makes up Walter Hill’s Re(Assignment). In the film, Michelle Rodriguez plays Frank Kitchen, a gun-for-hire who finds himself on the operating table of back-alley plastic surgeon Rachel Jane (Sigourney Weaver) after he kills her brother. As revenge, the doctor gives Frank an involuntary sex change. He wakes up, understandably upset, and intent on finding whoever’s responsible. Perhaps the most surprising element of film is that the surgery, and Frank’s gender identity, are handled pretty accurately. Dr. Jane’s methods may involve the removal of Frank’s genitalia and facial hair, as well as the addition of breasts, but his male voice remains unchanged. It’s also repeatedly stressed that despite appearing female, Frank identifies as a male. All this seems to indicate that Hill has done his homework into the process, and I applaud him for making an effort to depict everything as well as he does. However, the movie still manages to fall apart in a myriad of other ways. With its straight-forward plot and paperthin characters, it’s hard to care about what’s happening on screen. While it does touch on interesting ideas about gender, with scenes where Frank is subject to sexist treatment because he appears female, these moments are offset by the way Frank is defined as male by other characters, based purely on the fact that he acts like a stereotypical “macho guy.” The utterly unremarkable action scenes also fail to improve the movie. While the comic-book style transitions are sometimes cool, they mostly look as if they were done in iMovie. Re(Assignment) may not be as offensive as its plot implies, but it still ends up being just a really bad movie. At least the soundtrack was decent. OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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Jackie Samantha Ryan, Contributor Most people know the story of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and its impact on an entire generation; however, an aspect of the event told far more superficially is that of Jackie Kennedy, the woman left tragically widowed after his death. This harrowing real-life story is retold in the feature film Jackie by Chilean director Pablo Larraín. The film already has its hat in the ring of Oscar contenders thanks to glowing reviews, particularly with respect to Natalie Portman’s performance as the titular character. With gender equality still such a hot button issue well into the 21st century, it’s hard to watch the film without being reminded of Jackie’s refusal to be defined by others and the time in which she lived. Yes, Jacqueline Kennedy was worshipped for her beauty and her fashion sense and, yes, she was the dutiful wife to a womanizing man, but she refused to be defined by these things only. Her grace and steely strength are on full display in Portman’s transcendent and riveting performance. Instead of falling victim to her circumstances, and letting herself be silenced by men and societal norms, Jackie learned to navigate the realities of the political world, becoming so much more than a wife and a widow. This film presents an iconic feminist to a new generation for whom she is just a name in history. Jackie premieres in wide release December 9, 2016.

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The Stairs Sam Natale, Staff Writer Recovering from drug addiction is never linear. Every day, you have to choose to recover. The Stairs, a documentary directed by Hugh Gibson, follows the stories of several struggling and recovering drug addicts at the Regent Park Community Health Centre in Toronto over a span of several years. One of the film’s main subjects, Roxanne, says that “relapse is a part of recovery.” During the course of the film, the subject’s portraits of progress and setbacks for each of the individuals whose stories are being shown. The titular ‘stairs’ are a place that represent the idea of continuous recovery. The film’s main subjects, Marty, Roxanne, and Greg, are in various stages of their journeys with drug use, and yet they all work at the centre to aid other people struggling with drug related problems. This points to the way the film challenges normative ideas of what drug users are like, and who they are. As the film follows the lives of its subjects, the audience is given a sense of the community that these people all have with each other, showing current drug addicts giving other users safe drug use packages, and congratulating each other on every step made towards recovery. The Stairs is a story of drug addicts, told by the addicts themselves. There is no overarching narrative to tell their stories for them. There is just a camera following the regular lives of people struggling with such a difficult addiction.

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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Zoology Nana Frimpong, Managing Editor There is this moment in the midst of watching Zoology that one becomes blissfully aware that they are not just watching a film. They are, for lack of a better phrase, experiencing one. Zoology centers around Natasha, a reclusive middle-aged manager at a zoo, who grows a tail. As Natasha seeks medical help for her condition, she enters into a romantic courtship with a young doctor, who encourages her to live an exuberant life despite her “abnormality.” At the same time, rumours about Natasha’s condition begin to circulate around town, with most individuals, including Natasha’s mother, referring to the alleged “women with the tail” as a devil. Zoology is director Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s second feature film, for which he won the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Karlovy Vary Film Festival. A native of Moscow, Tverdovsky’s first film, Corrections Class, previously earned him a series of international accolades. When asked what the intention behind making Zoology was, Tverdovsky, who for most of his professional career has created documentary films, says that he was initially interested in making a “funny film about a woman with a tail, but in the midst of creating the feature, wanted to make a drama.” From the beginning of the film, Natasha is in one way bound to secrecy about her condition, and in another, forced to explore a world of unabashed honesty, whereby she actively seeks help from her doctors. Natasha’s desire to no longer be burdened by her secrecy is exemplified in Tverdovsky’s deliberate use of close-up shots and a handheld camera. In this way, what Natasha lacks in words, the camera makes up for in its claustrophobic closeness between us and her. We almost become, just by association with the camera, one with Natasha. Zoology is a powerful and necessary film to watch simply because it forces its viewers to face the stark realities of their own “tails,” and consequently, discover parts of themselves that they would otherwise never dare to face.

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King of the dancehall Sharine Taylor, Editor-in-Chief In his directorial debut, Nick Cannon premiered King of the Dancehall at this year’s festival. The story follows Tarzan Brixton (Cannon) who travels to Kingston, Jamaica to earn money for his sick mother (Whoopi Goldberg) and it’s there he becomes acquainted with his hilarious cousin Allestar ‘All Star Toasta’ (Busta Rhymes) who introduces him to selling weed as a means to earn money. From the beginning, viewers are introduced to Kingston’s dancehall scene. It’s in a local dance hall where Tarzan meets Maya (Kimberly Patterson), a pastor’s daughter, and is mesmerized by her moves. While Tarzan’s affections are fixated on Maya, he is seduced by Kaydeen (Kreesha Turner), who happens to be Dada’s sister. What follows for the remainder of the film is an amalgamation of love, heartbreak, war, arrest and of course dancing. Cannon’s interpretation of Jamaica’s dancehall scene was thoughtful. It certainly helped that Beenie Man, self-proclaimed King of the Dancehall and the artist who released the ‘King of the Dancehall’ record in 2004, narrated the film and embedded some facts about Jamaica and the country’s dancehall scene. What would have made for a better film would have been more character development for the cast and addressing some looming thoughts of race. There were some weird colonial aspects that needed to be addressed, or at the very least, more nuanced. The father of Dada and Kaydeen, Pierce Davidson (Peter Stomare), said something to the effect of “running Jamaica.” Though I understand that this was meant in the sense of the circulation of drugs on the island – which is still problematic in and of itself – it would have been best for Cannon to consider the country’s history of colonialism when creating the character. Considering the film was directed by a non-Jamaican, and it’s clear that Cannon did his research, King of the Dancehall did a good job at showcasing the culture of dancehall for an international audience that may not have been hip to it before. OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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NEW ME MEDIA The Underground is now taking new media pitches. Have an idea for a photo essay, video project or something similar? Send pitches to editor@the-underground.ca


F E AT U R E 17 RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

p i D A Taking in the

Uncanny Valley www. the-underground.ca

OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

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18 FE AT U R E

Kristina Dukoski, Science & Tech Editor On Aug. 17, 2016, Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal III, the creators of the YouTube series Good Mythical Morning, posted a video titled, ‘Why Creepy Robots are Creepy’. The video begins with a brief, but ominous, introduction made by McLaughlin: “Today we trudge the depths of the Uncanny Valley.” After a few minutes pass, the true nature of the video begins to surface. All desire to talk about that fades away into an abyss comprised of fear of the unknown. What was once a vague concept in the mind of Masahiro Mori, a professor of robotics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in the 1970s, has become a staple principle in robotic design. In a 2012 article published by the techie website IEEE Spectrum, Mori himself explains his findings in mathematical terminology: “The mathematical term ‘monotonically increasing function’ describes a relation in which the function y = ƒ(x) increases continuously with the variable x. For example, as effort x grows, income y increases.” He likens this pattern to that of a mountain climber ascending a mountain, stating, “In climbing toward the goal of making robots appear human, our affinity for them increases until we come to a valley, which I call the Uncanny Valley.” Deep in the Uncanny Valley, you can find humanoid robots such as Han, the interactive robot created by Hanson Robotics. According to an article published in the website Make Use Of, Han is fitted with some of the most advanced technology, which is—in theory—supposed to make him more ‘like us.’ “The system uses several cameras and microphones to transcribe speech and identify the people talking to it. Its face is articulated using 40 motors and the covering is made of Hanson Robotics’ proprietary flesh-rubber (“frubber”) material,” as described by the website. While one expects some miraculous event upon seeing Han

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in action, they are soon let down when they are instead subject to ‘Han: the eerily corpse-like humanoid.’ The creator of the YouTube channel Istebrak explained what exactly contributes to the ‘uncanniness’ of the robots in terms of design. She says, “Whenever you have realism and realistic skin on incorrect proportions, what you get is the uncanny.” That, amongst other factors, are what make these forms unsettling to us. Another example of what dwells in the valley is Sophia, the latest creation of Hanson Robotics. As stated on the Hanson Robotics website, “(Sophia) is based off of Audrey Hepburn and company founder David Hanson’s wife.” An article on the CNBC website titled Could you fall in love with this robot? highlights the impressive technological features of Sophia: “Cameras inside her “eyes,” combined with computer algorithms, enable her to “see,” follow faces and appear to make eye contact and recognize individuals. A combination of Alphabet, Google Chrome voice recognition technology, and other tools enable Sophia to process speech, chat and get smarter over time.” A supplementary video included with the article features David Hanson asking Sophia questions about her aspirations, functions, and fears. All goes well for the first two minutes and five seconds—roughly—of the video, save for the

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fact t h a t she spends 80 per cent of the time staring at the monitor with a smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. The last 10 seconds are when things start to take a turn for the apocalyptic: Hanson nonchalantly asks Sophia if she has a desire to destroy humans, but he quickly laughs and asserts that his question was merely a joke. Much to his dismay, she replies, “Okay: I will destroy humans.” Nothing to laugh about now, is there Hanson? We may assume that common opinion is that what Sophia says, what she does, and how she looks is obviously terrifying, but a very important concept to keep in

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mind is that of subjectivity; specifically, subjectivity of reactions. Not every robot that is intended to resemble humans will incite negative responses from actual human beings. On the same note, different people will provide different responses to the same stimuli. Emily Lee, a third-year management co-op specialist, was provided with two images to reflect upon. The first was a picture of the female protagonist in the animated film The Polar Express, and the second photo was of an unidentified female humanoid robot. “The CGI is pretty spot on for a 2004 film. It is pretty detailed in general, the patterns of her shirt, the hair decorations…From far away, I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference between it and a real person, but the lack of blemishes makes it more artificial.” Of the

second photo, Lee found it easy to spot the difference.“This is really creepy…Something about her smile and hand gestures are really unnatural. Those eyes make me feel uneasy.” When she was asked why she thinks the second photo generally makes people feel uneasy, she reflected upon the realism of the robot itself; or rather, the lack of realism. “I think the lack of humanistic features make them creepy. For example, there are no blemishes on their bodies, their proportions seem too perfect, and their faces look exactly the same on the left and right side.” Humans are naturally imperfect to some extent. The designs of uncanny robots fail in that they disregard the natural asymmetry of human bodies, which is characteristic to humanity. Ashwinder Suden, a second-year philosophy specialist, who was shown the second image of the humanoid female, also commented on the aptness of the attempt to make the robot look human. “It’s deformed to the point that it’s almost silly; it looks like us, but is a poor imitation of us [human beings]. It would freak the shit out of me

if I were in a horror movie or something.” Marc Daniel Del Medico, a fifth-year double-major in anthropology and philosophy, was shown an image of Wall-E, the famous fictional robot that captured the hearts of many, alongside the creepy image of the humanoid female. “[The first one] is Wall-E, you can’t really get any cuter than that. As for the other one, it does give me an eerie feeling, but it doesn’t creep me out too much,” he commented. Medico was then urged to explain where he thought the creators went wrong in trying to make the robot appear human. “They messed up on the eyes; the eyes are the window to the soul. So, if you don’t get the eyes right, it’s going to look odd.” In an anthropological sense, humans have evolved to avoid situations that are threatening, and the vaguely-human, sickly-looking robots hint at imminent threat. Another factor that appears to contribute to the eeriness of uncanny humanoid robots is the context in which they are framed. Every conclusion--for lack of better words--that can be drawn from analysis of the topic is merely speculation. With such subjectivity clouding the topic, it comes as no surprise that questions form about why the Uncanny Valley is how it is; however, few people stick around long enough to figure out why what they’re watching doesn’t sit right with them. We don’t blame them…

RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

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2 0 A RT S & L IF E

I am not

your costume

NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

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AR T S & L I F E 21 RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

I am not

your costume Nana Frimpong, Managing Editor

Intention. It’s a word that is seldom used in today’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter-verse, but nevertheless, it’s an important word to think about and unpack. Intention, broadly defined, is synonymous with motive or aim. The word requires that one be honest, critical, and unapologetically aware of how their biases, privilege, and experiences of the world shape their perspective. Intention relates to the discussion around cultural appropriation, and is key because it has a way of addressing the nuance of the topic. The caveat to having a discussion about cultural appropriation now, however, as opposed to at any other time, is that it suggests that one can only ever talk about the ways in which the media, fashion trends, our friends, and yes, even we, appropriate other cultures for the sake of looking “cool” or identifying with a particular group of people. This idea, however, that one can only ever speak about cultural appropriation as it relates to Halloween, is not true. Halloween has certainly been used as an excuse to participate (both consciously or otherwise) in cultural appropriation, and thus avoid judgement; however, in having this discussion, one should also consider what cultural appropriation looks like on the other 364 days of the year. The intention of this article is not to shame Halloween, its participants, or even folks who have, at a time, picked aspects of another’s culture and adopted it as their own. The intention, rather, is to encourage readers to be more critical about the way they use other cultures as a vehicle for their own personal voyeurism. When asked about her thoughts on cultural appropriation, third-year UTSC student Vanessa Vigneswaramoorthy says, “I don’t really have a problem with people being interested in other cultures but, when someone is borrowing symbols, or borrowing ideas, or borrowing really anything, without understanding the historical context behind their ability to take these items...I do find it

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offensive.” Many of the students spoken to shared similar sentiments as Vigneswaramoorthy, citing the lack of historical knowledge on a given culture as the truly offensive aspect. If what Vanessa says is true, and the fundamental element to being a cultural appreciator as opposed to a cultural appropriator is understanding the historical and cultural narratives associated with that group, one still has to consider the following question: what does it mean to really “know” a culture? Even then, who has the privilege to “know,” and thus have it accepted as the truth? Final-year student Becky Zelikson says, “People tend to think that cultural appropriation is about people getting offended, but sometimes, it is more than that.” She explains that cultural appropriation also shows up in mainstream shopping stores, where culturally sensitive apparel is sometimes displayed. This is one of the ways in which large corporations are able to capitalize on distinct and culturally specific garments, while at the same time “not actually supporting the group” that they have taken from. Perhaps, the conversation about buying something for the sake of becoming someone else doesn’t even go that deep. Perhaps, Halloween is just Halloween, and picking and choosing aspects of a culture that one likes, and then adopts as their own is alright too. For this reason, to make a fuss about it all being a calculated ploy to revel in an imagined self (if just for a night), takes the joke out of the celebration. But, once again, when in fact does the joke stop being funny? Celebrating Halloween, like appropriating another’s culture, has the potential to offend and reduce another’s customs and values to an item or a style of dress that can be bought and sold. On a deeper, less tangible level, what also ends up happening is that folks begin to creep farther away from who they really are, in pursuit of another person’s identity. The result, as suggested by the participants interviewed for this piece: folks become an iteration of that which they are not, and in the process, take from that which they do not own.

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22 A RT S & L IF E NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

Exp loring the Self Through A rt Parvin Atayee, Contributor This fall, the Doris McCarthy Gallery’s exhibitions include Outdoor School, curated by Amish Morell and Meryl McMaster: Confluence, which is produced by the Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa. Outdoor School will run from Sept. 14 to Oct. 22. As part of the exhibit, there will be a series of outdoor events that explore the urban environments surrounding UTSC. It is important to note that all artists whose work will be exhibited are Canadian, and include the work of Deirdre Fraser-Gudrunas/Vibrant Matter, Ayumi Goto, Maggie Groat, Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed, Jamie Ross, and Jay White. These artists’ works will undoubtedly be a source of diverse and thought-provoking inspiration. While the unique outdoor activities take place, the gallery space will be used to dis-

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play Maggie Groat’s Fences Will Turn into Tables (2010 - 2013), and Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed’s The Beaver Mat and the Fag(g)ot Shack (2014) and Colour Bar Juice Boxes (2012). The gallery is also used as the meeting space before and/or after each outdoor activity and will serve as a studio that the artist and the audience will utilize to actively engage with the work. This opening exhibit will surely satisfy the audience’s curiosity and raise interests by providing an opportunity to actively take part in all the activities. Meryl McMaster: Confluence is the second exhibit that will be displayed from Nov. 3 to Dec. 10. The exhibit includes photographic works by Meryl McMaster that focus on her as the subject and lead to an exploration of identity and self through various costumes and other elaborate alterations, as well as the overall representation of oneself as seen by society. McMaster is a Canadian artist who incorporates her background of Plains Cree and Euro-Canadian descent as a point of discovery for her own selfidentity and the collective familiarity of the Indigenous representation through her physical features.

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Confluence is composed of three parts that sequence the artist’s development of identity. McMaster’s other piece, Ancestral, reviews her heritage through past and present, by digitally projecting historical portraits of Aboriginal individuals onto the portraits of herself and her father. In-Between Worlds is the second part of McMaster’s exhibit, and like the first part, continues to investigate her mixed heritage and identity. The work explores both the Indigenous and Euro-Canadian parts of her background, and presents them in a state of suspension between the two. Finally, “Wandering” provides an overview of the self through its perceived limitations and possibilities, but it also engages the audience by subtly encouraging them to explore their own sense of self-identity. Confluence promises to be a stimulating exhibit that will encourage its audience to share the artist’s journey in their exploration of identity. The exhibit may also aid in one’s own journey to self-discovery and, at the same time, encourage individuals to think about the ways in which their identity acts as a greater representation to the world.

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24 A RT S & L IF E NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

www. the-underground.ca

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Expanding Identity with artsideout Sam Natale, Staff Writer Identity can sometimes be classified as a very vague word. It’s a hard concept to pin down for both individuals and groups, which makes it an ideal and broad choice for the theme of an art event. But the folks at ArtSideOut didn’t just stop with identity; they went one step further and chose the theme ‘Expanding Identity.’ As described from the event’s website, “Expanding Identity will focus on art-forms that express the identity of the community within and around the UTSC campus. The festival will emphasize on reaching out to all the diverse programs, peoples, and cultures that thrive and transcend at UTSC through multi-disciplinary art manifestations.” Kali Banner, the Studio Special Projects Director for ArtSideOut, explains that the theme is about “allowing people to express different sides of the self that are never really focused on or touched upon.” She adds, “There are two art history students, and both have never created art installations, so it’s tapping into a space they’ve never done before,” Banner explains. “One is visual arts, and one is sound art performance, but they were chosen because there is a focus on the multidisciplinary aspect of the mission; it invites students who are not traditionally art students. We wanted to seek artists who weren’t just from studio projects, but all students,” she continues. Banner says, “It’s both about Scarborough and personal identity. It’s asking something very personal of people, reaching into someone, and asking them who they really are. It’s the ability to express who they really are, and to work on the word ‘expanding.’ It’s in the middle of where you are, so you get to play.” Looking through the lens of not only identity, but also through the idea of identity without borders, is a twist on a topic that is difficult to talk about for many students. “When people ask, ‘Who are you?’ that’s a really hard question to answer,” says second-year international devel-

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opment studies student Taylor Lambie. “Thinking of yourself as completely without any borders on your identity can make it extra difficult to define who you are.” In defining ‘Expanding Identity,’ second-year student Alyssa Kew looks at borderless identity as an opportunity. “‘Expanding Identity’ means embracing as many opinions and perspectives as possible,” she says. Fifthyear student Fejiro Erome-Utunedi, supports that definition, adding, “University gives you the tools to define who you are, but it’s also trying not to define yourself in one rigid definition; it’s always changing.” The university’s role in helping students find and create their own identity can be summed up in one word: boundless. The word ‘boundless,’ which can be seen on the flags hanging from poles around campus, is mostly used to describe the limitlessness of one’s academic experience. As well, the term also speaks to the fact that one is allowed to continuously try to redefine themselves. Art pieces that take on the theme of ‘Expanding Identity,’ and works that encourage people to join in on the exploration of identity will be in abundance on the day of the event. Other things students can look forward to at the event include installation pieces across campus, visual art on walls, several performances, such as dancing, singing, and short plays, as well as some workshops. One workshop will be a spoken word workshop from an organization called R.I.S.E (Reaching Intellectual Souls Everywhere), which is a Scarborough-based collective of artists and activists who provide a space for artists to come and perform work in front of an audience whether it be spoken word or music. University is a time to explore who you are and what your identity means to you. As you peruse through the various forms of artwork on Oct. 6, perhaps you will take the time to think about who you are and what you define yourself as. Who knows, in the process of answering that question, you may discover that you have no answer at all. And maybe that’s okay.

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26 A RT S & L IF E ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

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OCTOBER HOROSCOPES Pavitura Kanagasabai, Contributor ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19) Your self image comes into question this month, as you feel neither satisfied nor annoyed by it. Not taking constructive action in mending what distresses you by the end of the month will yield a difficult November where you will feel a pull between your identity and emotions. In the middle of the month, you are very likely to finish a project that you have been longing to finish. At the same time, you will be able to see issues that you need to let go of more clearly. This month you will also notice that your communication with others will go awry and disagreements are highly likely to occur. Being hot-headed should not be your go-to mood this month as your judgements are weaker. Instead, a more observant attitude will prove to be beneficial in the long run. TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20) This will be one of the most difficult months of the year, so it is recommended that you use it as a time to open your eyes to your weaknesses while also observing your communication with the dominant males in your life. The problems that you face are meant to grab your attention. Overall, those with a Sun in Taurus from 0 to 17 degrees will feel this quincunx the most - feeling drained as the communication and relationship fronts will not be positioned at a good angle. You will find the last week of October to be the most easy-going. As you approach the middle of the month, you should begin to reflect on your achievements and accommodate what you learned about yourself this month into your future plans. GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20) The ways in which you express yourself are already strong as a result of being ruled by Mercury; however, with your Sun’s trine to the transiting Mercury at the first week of the month, you will increase your self confidence and your communication skills with people higher in ranked positions, such as your boss; however, this surge in self confidence will last until the 30th, when you are more likely to experience issues with your health. You may also experience high frustrations near the end of the month as Mercury quincunxes your natal Sun as well as the New Moon. CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22) This is a great period to improve anything homerelated; however, family members may frustrate you during this period as the transiting Mercury squaring your Sun brings to light your nervous energy that you may deflect onto others. As a result, ideas for home-related improvements are www. the-underground.ca

better planned for rather than executed during this period, as a spike in tension will only emphasize the agony you feel during these projects. It is highly likely that you will also feel dissonance with your usual self-restraints and you will be more prone to letting yourself go. Remind yourself that this is a temporary phase and look at the situation from a creative stance. Think about the following: what is missing in your life that can help balance out this stress? LEO (JULY 23-AUGUST 22) You are very likely to find love this month, or if you are already in a relationship, you will experience reaping the harvest of the lows that you’ve been through. Any important decisions you make will also yield good results as you are in a better state emotionally to make rational decisions. Your strengths are highly evident to others; however, at the end of the month you will need to reevaluate your family life as the New Moon in your fourth house will bring attention to any clutter at home or any untended relationships. VIRGO (AUGUST 23-SEPTEMBER 22) The full moon in Aries that will be in your eighth house in the middle of October will create a space for transformation in your life, particularly in your finances or emotional security. In the same way, you will have major doubts in regards to your morale which will also be associated with your judgement. In the end, this will eventually allow you to take advantage of new opportunities that present themselves in your life. Furthermore, you are more than likely to slack on personal routines, as laziness seems to be a trait you may adopt as a result of being irritated. You will need to look inside yourself to see why you are experiencing these inharmonious feelings in order to truly resolve these issues. LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23-OCTOBER 22) With the first new moon of the month in your first house you will feel enthusiastic about undergoing physical changes. This is a wonderful period for others to notice you, particularly for first dates, so any urge to revamp your appearance will pay off well as you will see positive strides in your confidence. This energy also brings about a nonchalant attitude that may have you easing yourself at work; be sure to not let the easiness of this period fool you into thinking that tasks can be delayed. October brings about a great atmosphere for you to try new things especially since your communication is extra sharp at this time. SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23-NOVEMBER 21) The end of the month is the time that brings about excellent conditions for appearance related improvement. The rest of the month presOCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

ents favourable conditions for building your selfesteem. October is a time for servicing others, so activities such as volunteering may seem more attractive to you at this time. You will also take advantage of the need to be away from others during this time as it will help you take your mind off the small problems that people in your life are dealing with. As a result, the end of the month you will seem to be more at ease with yourself and your surroundings allowing you to concentrate on what you desire from life. SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22-DECEMBER 21) With your sun being in a positive aspect to the new moon in Libra at the beginning of the month and with the full moon at the end of the month bringing you vitality and new opportunities, this could lead to a higher turnover for completing tasks and polishing up on anything you may not be satisfied with. Moreover, with the Venus entering your sign on the 18th you are inclined to resort to pampering and appearance-oriented changes as a pastime. To add to the positive luck you will be experiencing, your creativity will be on a high and your communication will be strong. AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18) You are compelled to learn more about others and their ways of living this month in a quest to expand your horizons on the lives of people around you. This is also an encouraging time for you to build on your knowledge as you are experiencing luck on your communication front, which is also providing a strong foundation for your learning. On Oct. 22, as the Sun enters Scorpio, you may experience impediments on your journey toward scrutinizing your beliefs, meaning that this is not a beneficial time to plan for the long-term future. At the end of this month, you may be inclined toward career advancement and better equipped towards strategizing for the remote future. PISCES (FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 20) The full moon occurring in the middle of the month in your second house of resources will bring about questions relating to your worth as you see it. It is not a good time to communicate with your friends about your achievements in all areas of your life to be able to reassure your life, however when the transiting sun enters Scorpio on the 22nd you are likely to be recognized for a major achievement or even the completion of the smallest of assignments that will help you feel supported. This is a time to focus on your needs while taking advantage of the upper hand you have on communicating your ideas at the end of the month. In addition, the second new moon of the month will have you exploring spiritual matters in more depth. VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


28 S C I E N C E & T EC H NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

The Da r k PlaCE s : WHat’s T h e D eal w i th H o r r o r gaM i n g ? Jade Acuña, Contributor Whether it’s the adrenaline rush one obtains from riding roller coasters, from watching a scary movie alone in the dark, or bungee jumping, people are constantly pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone by testing their limits. But why? Simple answer: Adrenaline. What better way could there be to experience the rush than to turn off all the lights and slip on some headphones to play a scary game? Part of the appeal of a horror game is the fact that the player is actively involved, as they navigate through asylums, bunkers, and ghost towns, rather than kicking back and watching the action happen. In a horror game, every consequence is a direct result of the player’s actions. Upon asking UTSC students what the most important element in horror gaming is, Dorsa Ershadifar, a first-year sociology major says, “The most important thing for [horror games are] the graphics, because it seems so real when you’re playing it.” According to Kareem Fawaz, a secondyear specialist co-op student in molecular biology and biotechnology, “It definitely has to have a really dark undertone to it. They definitely have to start off the game knowing you’re in a [screwed] up situation and knowing that everything around you is abnormal.” Horror games have greatly evolved since they were first introduced in 1982, and have gained more and more traction as games such as Slenderman (2012), and the Five Nights at Freddy’s series (2015-2016) gained a cult-like following. Since then, horror games have become a huge market for many game developers as the focus

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of horror games have turned to playing with the psyches of the players themselves. Some of the scariest games within this genre to date include Silent Hill 2, Alien: Isolation, and Amnesia: the Dark Descent (Games Radar). But what is it about these games that make them so scary? Silent Hill 2 delves into the mind of protagonist James Sunderland, who, in response to a letter that appears to have been written by his deceased wife, returns to Silent Hill. Upon his arrival, both the atmosphere and the people have changed, forcing him to find a way to work past his own unresolved issues before he can understand what’s happening around him; however, this proves only to be the beginning, as an online gaming review mentions “the deeper you go, the worse it gets.” This game, appropriately falls under the umbrella of “survival horror.” It has several possible endings, leaving it up to the player to decide which route they will follow. The best part is that more endings can be unlocked by replaying the game and picking up various objects. Alien: Isolation combines stealth, firstperson shooter, and survival horror elements in the game. The player steps into the role of Amanda Ripley, who searches for her mother in an abandoned space station. Explaining what makes the monster in this game so frightening, Duvad Prasad, an English major says, “The fact that it’s tracking you and it knows where you are [at] every moment.” The game takes the monster, Xenomorph, from the original movie, and reimagines it as a terrifying creature that keeps players on the edge of their seats as they desperately attempt to reach safety.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent throws the player into a castle full of monsters, while attempting to maintain the sanity of Daniel, the protagonist; however, this is easier said than done, due to the constant barrage of enemies that the player has to continuously run away from, all while attempting to stay in the light. There are three possible endings, each of which directly correspond with how the game is played. The game is also listed under the “survival horror” genre, as it utilizes the common trope of preying on the imagination of the player, causing them to scare themselves. Players also don’t end up properly seeing the monster, because “if you get close enough to get a good look at their appearance, you will probably die,” says gaming website Scary Gaming Network. The above are a multitude of different horror games that are widely available on various gaming consoles such as PC, PS2/3/4, and Xboxes. There are even some games with mobile apps for horror gamers on the go. How is it that people even hear about these games, especially when there are various platforms and many new games being produced all the time? Nathan Lam, a first-year student explains that he normally hears about games through social media. “A lot from friends... I do follow gaming [through] social media, websites, and webpages. And for many other games they promote advertisements.” This Halloween, keep an eye out for promotions of new games on your Facebook feed, or simply settle down with one of the classics and prepare to delve deeper into the uncanny and the abnormal.

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CINEMATIC SCARES R.J. Aparato, Contributor

is both real and supernatural, making it incredibly effective.

Directors of the horror genre use a variety of techniques to scare and shock their audiences. These can range from the blatant use of jump scares, to more subtle uses of themes, imagery, and sound, which all work in tandem to create a thrilling, yet terrifying experience for viewers. Since the release of recent low budget, yet high-grossing horror movies in the past few decades, we’ve experienced somewhat of a renaissance in horror. Large releases like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Paranormal Activity have raked in millions of dollars in sales -- despite their diminutive budgets -- attracting the financing of many producers. This has allowed a slew of independent horror filmmakers such as Ti West, Adam Winguard, and David Robert Mitchell to create fantastic works of horror, that have become masterpieces in the genre. The following list is a compilation of movies I believe have successfully incited fear and dread during my own viewing. These movies have flown under the radar; nonetheless, they are scarier than their blockbuster/studio counterparts. The filmmakers of these movies have reinvented the genre by developing new techniques to create an unmatched film-watching experience.

It Follows Directed by David Robert Mitchell, lead character Jay Height (Maika Munroe) is haunted by an entity that brutally kills its victims by contorting them into different shapes. This entity can take the form of a normal individual or the form of someone that Height knows. While this may seem like a horrible advantage for the entity, it is limited by its pace in movement, which only allows it to move at walking speed. Altogether this creates a terrifying movie experience, as the entity is neither hidden, nor made clear. Similar to Spielberg’s Duel, or last year’s Mad Max Fury Road, It Follows plays like a long chase scene. It’s a movie filled to the brim with suspense and dread, as the unstoppable foe continues to chase our heroine, despite her and her friend’s rigorous attempts at getting away. The doom experienced by Jay herself throughout the movie is felt by the viewer, as she and her friends frantically attempt to stop the monster. Throughout the film, the feeling of a forthcoming calamity is felt, as the unseeable entity slowly creeps its way closer and closer to our heroes. This creates a sense of anxiety and dread that translates well towards the viewer, who is constantly expecting the unstoppable foe to finalize the chase, and finally murder Jay and her group of friends. In addition, the director’s use of offhanded clues in the background of the movie not only adds to the storyline, it also creates an uneasiness that lends to its creepy and dark aesthetic. The story’s inexplicable time period, the unusual absence of adult characters, and its setting in pre-decaying Detroit altogether create a visual and thematic experience that makes it an enjoyably horrifying movie to watch this Halloween.

The Taking of Deborah Logan The Taking of Deborah Logan chronicles a group of medical students looking to create a documentary about a local woman called Deborah Logan who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Things take a turn for the worse, as they realize that Deborah’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and violent. Things grow increasingly problematic as the group begins to tie Deborah’s erratic behaviour to that of a local cannibal, who disappeared years ago. This movie is horrifying in that it deals with the hardship and unpredictability that a very real disease presents. At the same time, the movie also invites you to contemplate the possibility of the supernatural having a hand with the violent. The movie is equally terrifying for skeptics of the supernatural because it provides a ‘monster’ that www. the-underground.ca

Pontypool Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool is a horror film like no other. It doesn’t rely on gore, cheap scare, or any visual effects to create fear in its audience. It relies solely on atmosphere and dialogue to fixate viewers into the terror that its characters are facing. OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

Pontypool details the events of a zombie outbreak experienced by a few individuals running a radio station in rural Ontario. Due to a recent snow storm, the movie’s characters are forced to live through the devastation and horror through incoming calls and military broadcasts, that detail the relentlessness of the flesh eating hordes that reign in a small town nearby. Much of the movie’s horror is told through these accounts and the movie’s masterfully articulated score. While we don’t see any of the incidents, the horrifyingly detailed descriptions of events, coupled with the movie’s haunting soundtrack, creates an eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere that any horror fan will enjoy. What makes Pontypool successful is not its scaring of viewers vis-à-vis the sight of a grotesque unimaginable entity, but the distressing and unnerving sensations that its filmmakers imbue towards its audience through the atmosphere. The Den Zachary Donahue’s 2013 movie The Den takes contemporary society’s dependence on technology. The movie chronicles the work of Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia), as she conducts a project attempting to meet as many people around the world via a randomized video chatting website, similar to Chatroulette. During the course of her project she witnesses a murder on one of the webcams that causes her to nearly abandon the project. It gets worse when she finally realizes that the murderer in the stream is not only watching her through her webcam, but is also making an effort to murder her and her loved ones, while publicly filming them on the same website. This movie is effective in its ability to elicit fear and at the same time feed into societal anxiety about technology. The ‘monster’ is haunting Elizabeth not through walls, shadows, or unnaturally long strides (a la Jason Vorhees), but through the use of modern technology. It’s a modern take on the serial killer genre that pervaded horror movie fanatics in the 1980s, with the difference being that the serial killer is not aided by supernatural powers, but instead by modern technology. VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


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SUSTAINABILITY CORNER: THE SCIENCE OF FOOD PRESERVATIVES Jean-Michel Boudreau, Contributor On Sept 27, 2006, the media stood by in amazement -- David Corbin, chairman of the Texas-based Sadex Corporation, was about to knowingly eat spinach inoculated with 5 million colonies of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria per gram -- the nasty bugs that had terrorized the spinach-eating world the summer of that same year. “You would have been better off to have a cow come and dump on it,” he proclaimed. Evidently, Corbin was not worried and for good reason too. Prior to their digestion, his spinach had been subject to irradiation with a beam of microbe-destroying electrons or gamma rays, a method commonly known as electronic pasteurization. This method reduced the number of E. coli colonies on his spinach to only 50 to 70 colonies per gram -not enough to make humans sick. Needless to say, Corbin experienced no ill effects partaking in one of history’s more famous acts of food preservation display. Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down the process of food spoilage, the loss of quality, edibility, or nutritional value, thus allowing for longer food storage. What it means to preserve food The act of preservation has impacted a variety of different cultures. Some practices can even date back to over 12,000 B.C., like drying methods used by Middle Eastern cultures. Preservation can be done in a variety of ways: freezing, drying, fermenting, pickling, curing, canning or through making jams. Environmentally, it reduces the amount of food that spoils during peak seasons of production. By preserving them, we can keep food intact for longer periods of time, allowing us to eat certain foods even during off-peak seasons. It also reduces transportation costs and its associated environmental impacts, as it limits the need to import produce from warmer countries during our cold Canadian winters. Here we will introduce you to a few key superstars of preservation from a scientific lens: Electronic Pasteurization As noted above, electronic pasteurization is the process of killing microbes through the irradiation of food with a beam of electrons www. the-underground.ca

or gamma rays. The usage of this method may raise the eyebrows of some; however, put simply, eating irradiated food does not expose consumers to radiation. The insects and microbes that contaminate our food supply can testify to the lethal effects of radiation exposure, but the food does not become radioactive. Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t any novel toxins created in the process of electronic pasteurization. In fact, the carcinogen class consisting of 2-alkylbutanones (2-ACBs) have been found only in irradiated foods; however, fortunately it is only present in negligible abundance. Furthermore, numerous feeding studies of irradiated foods have been carried out, in many cases using extreme amounts. For example, dogs, cats, and mice have been fed irradiated chicken that made up to 35 per cent of their diet with no effect. Sodium Chloride (i. e. Table Salt) Electronic pasteurization is just one of the many methods developed in the preservation of foods. For example, one of the earliest methods for preserving food involved coating them in salt. When the salt concentration outside a cell is higher than inside it, water is drawn out of the cell to reduce the outside salt concentration in a process known as osmosis. Creating these high-salinity environments on the surface of foods would cause the water in bacterial and fungal cells to be secreted, which would dehydrate and kill them in the process. Additionally, a variation of this in which food is immersed in brine solution, more commonly known as pickling, takes preservative measures one step further by increasing the acidity of the brine. The mechanism through which this occurs proceeds via metabolic processes of Lactobacillus plantarum; a hardy, yet harmless bacterium regularly found in anaerobic plant matter, certain cheeses and saliva. When present in the brine, the aerotolerant L. plantarum’s enzyme lactate dehydrogenase employs coenzyme NADH to catalyze the conversion of pyruvate to lactic acid, making the brine even more inhospitable for other microbes. Sulfur Dioxide Sulfur dioxide is an antimicrobial agent mainly used in the wine industry. There are a few mechanisms by which sulfur dioxide prevents the microbe growth in wine. Perhaps, it is best summarized by A. Larry Branen and OCTOBER 6 - NOVEMBER 2, 2016

colleagues in Food Additives: First, it reacts with end products or intermediate products inhibiting enzyme chain reactions. Second, it cleaves essential disulfide linkages in proteins and induces changes in the molecular conformation of enzymes. This modifies enzyme active sites and destroys the coenzymes. Furthermore, it destroys the activity of thiamine and thiamine-dependent enzymes by cleavage and produces cytotoxic effects by crosslinking individual nucleic acid residues or nucleic acid residues and proteins. Additionally, it damages cell metabolism and membrane function by peroxidizing lipids (i.e. degrades lipids by free radical reactions resulting in the substitution of hydrogens to peroxide groups). Sulfur dioxide also has the additional advantage of being an antioxidant: it can react with dissolved oxygen to form sulfates. This is very useful because some of the vinegar-forming bacteria are resistant to sulfur dioxide, but the need for oxygen to convert ethanol to acetic acid can ruin a wine’s flavor! Viruses It may cause some alarm that viruses are employed to preserve meats; however, the virus currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration only invades bacteria, and more specifically, only Listeria monocytogenes. This nasty bacterium is responsible for listeriosis -- an awful flu-like illness that potentially induces blood poisoning (septicemia) and meningitis, which may be fatal if left untreated. The mode of action of these listeria-killing viruses, appropriately named bacteriophages (i.e. bacteria-eaters), initiates when the bacteriophage docks a protein on the surface of a L. monocytogenes cell and injects its genetic material into it. Following this, it hijacks the cell’s proteins and orchestrates the assembly and accumulation of more viruses. This ultimately results in the bursting of the microbe -- thus the destruction of it -- and the ignition of a chain reaction in which the newly biosynthesized virus are free to repeat the same antimicrobial process. The Sustainability Office will be hosting various food preservation workshops throughout the Fall semester, preserving our campus-grown produce over the winter which includes pickling cucumbers and beans as well as canning tomatoes. VOLUME 36, ISSUE 02


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THE FIZZLE AFTER THE SWEET Robin Jacob, Contributor Let’s be honest. You always said, “Trick or Treat,” but you never wanted the trick. That’s why you went to certain houses, avoided others, and as you grew older, your candy bag grew with you. It’s the driving force of Halloween, and the motivation for kids to dress up and go ravaging across the city at night. Candy, or to be more specific, sugar, is the reason why the eve of Nov. 1 is considered a holiday, at least by kid’s standards. Although our time of running around in masks and costumes may have come to an end, the consumption of sugar has not ceased in any way. In certain cases, our intake may have increased unknowingly with the infamous sweet substance hidden within our daily Tim Horton’s coffee and vending machine treats. The demands of school and work life sometimes offer a justification for eating such things. The need to grab a snack during the day to appease your hunger pains, or using energy drinks to sustain you during all-nighters -- these are all common reasons one would use to rationalize their sugar consumption; however, we may be setting ourselves up for failure by using sugar to help us in the classroom. Do we really know what happens to our bodies once we intake sugar? To be more concise, do we know the effects sugar has on the brain? Is it possible that we are doing more to hurt than help us when it comes to daily mental stimulation? The human body is a complex system made up of very intricate individual parts, one of them being the brain. Much like a machine, the brain has optimal performance levels, which means there are certain levels that have it working both efficiently and effectively. Just as a machine needs proper fuel to perform well, so does our brain. So if a car needs gasoline, and our smartphones use electricity, what is the fuel source for our brain? Glucose, a carbohydrate or a simple sugar, is the fuel source for both our bodies and our brain. It comes in two forms: complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates have chains comprised of three or four sugars that make it difficult to break down, but these complex carbs provide a longer source of energy as they won’t break down as easy. Simple carbohydrates are

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chains made of one or two sugars, that can be easily broken down and used for fuel very quickly. This is why the brain favours glucose as a fuel, as it is an energy source that is broken down rapidly. Yes, sugar is the energy source for the body and brain, but the sugar found in sweets is a highly refined sugar called sucrose; a mixture of glucose and fructose, making it a simple sugar that is easily broken down for fuel. When consumed, the brain uses the sugar for fuel, which temporarily aids in processing, but what does an excess amount of sugar consumption do to the brain? A 2012 study by researchers in UCLA discovered that when exposed to a diet high of sugar, rats had developed damage to synaptic functions in their brain, negatively affecting tasks involving learning and memorization. A larger intake of sugar led the rats to develop a resistance to insulin, which led to further issues in relation to brain function, as insulin regulates brain cell functions, and strengthening of synaptic connections between brain cells. If not consumed in moderate amounts, sugar can negatively affect cognitive abilities, especially if large amounts of sugar are a staple within our diet. Since sugar tastes so good, it isn’t the easiest thing to give up. Studies have shown that during the consumption of sugar, the brain releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter for pleasure. When we do muster up the strength to fight off our cravings, knowing it is the right thing to do doesn’t always make it easy. Biologically, it poses negative effects to our brain and body when consumed in wrong amounts, however the flip side is the impact to our mental well-being. If we continually deny ourselves the opportunity to indulge in our favorite foods every once in awhile, then we are more likely to binge in large amounts. If we choose to indulge in a sweet, maybe it would be best to avoid doing so right before a two hour lecture. Yes, one sweet may not damage your synaptic development right before class, however, the sugar crash you are asking for won’t help you either. Let’s leave sugar indulgences for special events, and not when we need energy for those marathon studying sessions. At that point, we should be grabbing the complex carb sources to help keep us going for extended periods of time. This Halloween, remember to not go overboard on the candy, but at least, enjoy some.

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34 S C I E N C E & T EC H RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

NOT SO BLACK 8L4CK H0L35

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Not So Black, Black Holes Priyanka Challa, Contributor Science fiction movies are notorious for transforming complex ideas into something as simple as going through a black hole and reaching a new universe. The idea of black holes have been around for more than 200 years, capturing the interest of several physicists and movie makers from around the world. We see this as the main theme for several science-fiction movies, but what exactly is this celebrated concept? Black holes are objects that are very dense, and have enough mass in a small volume that its gravitational force is strong enough to prevent any object from escaping. The idea was first proposed in the 18th century, when its phenomenon was explained through known laws of gravity; the smaller or more massive an object is, the greater the gravitational force felt on its surface. Black holes are known to obey all laws of physics. In fact, many of its unique properties are a direct cause of gravity. Based on this, black holes were proposed to be massive entities that worked almost like a vacuum, withdrawing everything that is present within its vicinity. American physicist John Wheeler introduced the term “black hole” in 1967, and it has caught on ever since, with the name suggesting something dark and mysterious. It has been discovered that space and time near these black holes present very unusual properties. Essentially, black holes are formed when enormous stars die. Unlike stars, black holes cannot be viewed in the sky but rather detected through the movement pattern of materials around it. Scientists have seen materials being attracted to black holes and falling into them. Through

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this close observation, we have discovered that there are literally billions of black holes in our universe. There are many different types of black holes: some spin around an axis, whereas others are more complex. A ‘cosmic whirlpool’ is created due to the surrounding space being dragged around. Event horizons are boundaries found on black holes, which are relative to the mass of the celestial body. Scientists have discovered event horizons ranging from the size of our solar system to as small as six miles. Basically, black holes can exist in both small and large spaces. The event horizon is composed of two imaginary spheres. In 1687, Newton demonstrated that all objects in the universe attract each other, thanks to gravity. In our day-to-day lives, other forces such as electricity often apply a stronger influence; however, gravity is vital for outer space as it holds celestial bodies together over large distances. Einstein later advanced our knowledge of gravity through his theory of General Relativity. He demonstrated that light moves at a fixed speed and that space and time must be connected. According to this theory, everything that crosses the event horizon is lost forever. Part of the reason why they are called black holes is because even light cannot escape them, thus, making them impossible for us to see. However, in the 1970s, Stephen Hawking proposed that radiation could actually escape from a black hole due to laws of quantum mechanics. To explain it simply, when a black hole swallows a particle-antiparticle pair -- virtual particles -- the other particle radiates away into space. As it leaves, it steals a little ‘piece’ of energy from the black hole. Eventually, black holes can disappear, leaving only a trace of the electromagnetic radiation --

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now known as Hawking radiation. According to Hawking’s theory, black holes are neither completely black, nor do they last forever. Unfortunately, even fitting to Hawking’s best calculations, the radiation would not contain any useful information, as any data collected from it would have been lost forever. Conversely, quantum mechanics suggest that information cannot be lost. Hence, there is a paradox to this theory. However, with recent advances in laboratory experiments, the answer to the long-lasting question ‘are black holes truly black?’ may finally point towards ‘no.’ A study conducted by Jeff Steinhauer at the Israel Institute of Technology created a black hole using sound waves; however, observing the Hawking radiation -- if it exists -- is so faint that it cannot be seen from the earth around known black hole -- a problem Steinhauer faced as well. To eradicate this problem, Steinhauer’s experiment, “ran at less than a billionth of a degree above absolute zero.” This new experiment did not include any external stimulation in order for the particle-antiparticle pair to appear -- just like outer space. As Hawking had theorized, the black hole had spewed out the predicted particles, which is a clear indication of Hawking’s radiation. The simulated black hole also tested Hawking’s equations, which predicted that there should be light projecting from a black hole. Turns out, he was right. These findings also present a larger insinuation for the field of physics, as one of the biggest mysteries is why Einstein’s theory of gravity does not seem fitting with quantum mechanics. So, the next time you watch a science fiction movie showing a black hole, you now know that, just maybe, these black holes aren’t really black.

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36 S P OR T S & WELLNES S

TPASC01: Intro to Athletic s Leal Coombs-King, Sports & Wellness Intern At last, the summer you wished would be endless has finally concluded. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop living. UTSC’s Athletic department offers a multitude of services and programs for students and faculty alike, granting them the opportunity to stay active while creating new relationships with other people. Maybe you’re still in the summer groove and jiving to ‘One Dance,’ or perhaps you’re trying to impress a significant other with some new moves. If so, then check out the dance classes offered at the campus including ballet, belly dancing for women, contemporary dance and co-ed hip hop. If you are bursting with UTSC pride and love to play sports, look no further than the Intramural Program, which gives students a chance to represent their U of T campus in a variety of sports such as basketball, flag football, ice hockey, rugby, soccer, volleyball and coed ultimate frisbee. Students and faculty here at UTSC naturally have very busy lives, which doesn’t always give them the opportunity to dive into the competitiveness of intramural sports. Interhouse sports are student-run leagues that grant students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have obtained a TPASC membership, an opportunity to participate in sports such as ultimate frisbee, ball hockey, volleyball, cricket in coed divisions, and basketball and indoor soccer in the women’s division. There are two competitive levels for Interhouse sports for those seeking more of a challenge, while building on their cur-

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rent skills. The Recreational Level is more for those wanting to just have fun and develop their skills and knowledge of the game. There are also drop-in sports at the TPASC gyms for people that want less of a commitment including badminton, basketball, indoor soccer, table tennis, ultimate frisbee and volleyball. Learn to Play programs are also available if you would like to learn a new sport. They’re eight weeks skills and drills courses focused on developing basic skills and teaching novice players how to play the sport, in hopes that their skill level will progress into a higher level. Ron Crozier, program director of Sports and Recreation at UTSC, says “Seeing someone maybe came in with not a lot of skills, [who] took a Learn to Play program in soccer and was able to progress to play into a league... I think those are the kind of things I love to see and watch.” There’s no denying that university life can be a stressful one. This hectic lifestyle often impairs us to enjoy the simple things. Luckily UTSC offers a program that allows one to stay active and enjoy their natural surroundings such through the Outdoor Recreation program. “I think right now, I love the Outdoor Recreation that we run. I have a passion for that and that’s just introducing students to an activity that they have never done before.” The Outdoor Recreation Program offers the chance to be physically active in a green space, which research says helps reduce stress, anger, anxiety, and improve one’s mood. The campus offers hiking and running trails for walking, biking, running as well as snowshoeing and cross

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country skiing for people who want to take a break from campus life and explore nature. If you would like to test your physical endurance and mental stimulation, UTSC is home to one of the highest rock climbing walls at 41 ft. and promises a unique full body workout. The Pan Am Sports Centre is a world class membership facility co-owned by the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto. With 365, 000 sq. feet of space which features a fitness centre, martial arts classes, field house, climbing wall, tennis courts, a baseball field and multi-sports courts, and an aquatics centre with two Olympic sized pools and a dive tank among other things. TPASC has been the hub for UTSC sports for more than a year now and promotes sports and healthy wellbeing throughout the community, while encouraging students to utilise the facility. “[I think] one of the benefits in leading a healthy lifestyle, is [developing] their (students’) time management skills...So it’s an opportunity to get into this facility, to get your mind off of school. Research shows that all of those aspects are going to help you academically as well” says Crozier. University life only lasts so long, so it’s important that we do the most we can in the short span of time. So if you have wanted to try a new sport, I encourage you to do so. If you’ve wanted to learn dance or try your luck at the rock climbing wall, I urge you to do that too. Every year you have a chance to reinvent yourself and participate in new activities on campus. So why not do something that benefits the temple that is your body?

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RA PTO R S : NE W BEG INNING Temi Dada, Sports & Wellness Editor The Raptors begin their journey in a new NBA season against the Golden State Warriors on October 1st 2016. This is a brief view of the Raptors before the new season starts. Clean sweep: the most accurate way of describing the Raptors 2014-2015 season. Most Raptors fans will never forget Paul Pierce’s decisive, buzzer-beating threepoint shot which silenced the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2015. It infamously ended the playoff series tie between the Wizards and the Raptors, completing the fourgame sweep. Fans’ hopes and expectations ended in one gut-wrenching swish. Literally. Raptors fans were beyond disappointed after that game. It was the second year in a row that the Toronto Raptors had gotten to the playoffs. This was also the second consecutive year that Paul Pierce had sent them packing at just the first round of the playoffs despite being the top-seed on both occasions and having two all-star players in the form of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. This is why, one could argue that the anger, disappointment, and frustration occasionally directed towards the Raptors is justifiable. This is why, for years now, fans have been so emotionally invested in the team. When one fast-forwards to almost a year and a half after that unforgettable season and Paul Pierce’s ‘King of the North’ troll Facebook post, one is reminded how much can change in little time. The following season, 2015-16, there was a total transformation in the Raptors team. They recorded a franchise record 56 wins and they finished second place in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. The team defeated the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat

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in two difficult seven game series en-route to their first ever appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals alongside an undefeated—and eventual champion— the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later, the Raptors would go on to lose the series in six games but not without ending Cleveland’s sixteen game winning streak. 2016 turned out to be a good year for the NBA up north as a whole due to the Raptors’ performance, Toronto hosting the 2016 All-Star Weekend, and Brampton native Tristan Thompson, and member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the NBA Championship. All things considered, what should one expect to see from the Raptors next season? Huge Seasons For Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan The two dynamic All-Star guards have carried the team for the past three seasons. We can expect even better from them this year considering what they achieved last season leading the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals. A feat that even the great Vince Carter failed to accomplish. New Signing Jared Sullinger It was a busy summer for most NBA teams and it was no different for the Raptors who had to resign DeMar DeRozan, hire NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo to their coaching staff, trade Bismarck Biyombo to the Orlando Magic, and all before signing Jared Sullinger from the Boston Celtics to a one-year deal. Though Biyombo will be missed for his passion and incredible defense and rebounding, Sullinger is a better offensive option who averaged 10.3 points (he can shoot three’s as well) in the regular season compared to Biyombo’s 5.5. He is also a good replacement for Biyombo not

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just for his offense, but he is a glass eater as well. He has recorded his career high 20 rebounds on two separate occasions, the first time ironically against the Raptors in the 2013- 2014 season and the second time last season against the Pelicans. It will be interesting to see how he pairs with Jonas Valanciunas. Breakout Season For Valanciunas? Valanciunas is a key member of the Raptors starting five this year. If he can stay injury free this season, it is not unrealistic to predict that his career averages will get progressively higher. Though he is an excellent offensive player, his defensive performances are usually criticized, especially after his injury propelled Biyombo, who was phenomenal at the defensive end, to a starting position in the playoffs. Though he could get help from Sullinger who was purchased from the Boston Celtics which was a top five defensive team last season, it would be good if he can improve on his defense because it would make him a more complete player. A Championship Ring? In a season where little was expected from them, the Raptors proved their haters wrong. Due to their past success, it might not be far-fetched for Raptors fans to think that they might have a shot at the NBA title (again) this year. But they face a huge challenge in the East, where their conference rivals include former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristap Porzingis. Can the Raptors outdo themselves and surprise us all by winning the title or is it another grand scheme of Dwane Casey’s men to raise hopes and show promise only to disappoint yet again? Time will tell.

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4 0 S P OR T S & WELLNES S

Challenging “Healthy” Sarah Siddiqi, Contributor From a young age, children learn about how their bodies will change, develop, and grow. In health class, young kids learn about body image, self-esteem, and eating disorders; they are encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly. But what does a “healthy” lifestyle really mean? Does it mean that all men should be tall and lean, with a six-pack? Or should all women be skinny? These are the images that are focused on in the media, like that of super models, athletes and actors who are involuntarily role-models and what young boys and girls may aspire to be when they are older. By challenging the idea of “healthy,” it will become easier to accept our own body, whilst being less judgmental of those around us. Exercise is beneficial to a person’s physical health, and more importantly, it is a recreational activity which helps to revitalize and de-stress people. While eating well and exercising will have a positive impact on a person’s lifestyle, it is also important to discuss mental health. Taking a couple minutes of your day to exercise helps many people relax, feel happier and have a break from their stressful lives. Three UTSC students were asked to say what first comes to mind when they hear the word healthy. Narmada Umatheva, a third-year student says, “Balance is key. Too much or too little of anything can take

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a toll on your health.” Similarly, Veenaajaa Asokan, a third-year student says “Having a good diet and exercising at least three times a week is important.” Third year student Thanusun Thayaparan says, “I think about appearance. Definitely vegetables and anything green”. Some girls aspire to be thin, others curvy, while others want to gain weight. Some boys are focused on developing a muscular physique, losing weight, or becoming more toned. Each person wants to achieve their ideal body image, however in many cases, this ideal image is a societal or cultural construct. When asked what they imagined a healthy individual to look like, Umatheva said, “[Someone] who can look in the mirror and say that they’re happy the way they are.” Not everyone is motivated to change his or her lifestyle and begin to eat healthy, exercise, and take a mental break. In order to become encouraged to lead a healthier lifestyle, Umatheva suggests, “Reflect on how you can improve and set goals for yourself. Goals that you can achieve step by step, like starting with just stretching at the gym. This will help to slowly set a routine that you’re satisfied with.” Asokan adds that “Learning about illnesses [during] lecture and how you can get them kind of motivated me to start working out last year.” Challenging the idea of “healthy” to mean something more than physical appearance is an important step to accepting ourselves, and the people around us.

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42 S P OR T S & WELLNES S

Livin g T H e D o u b l e L ife : UTSC Student Athletes On THE Varsity Blues Raghad A.K, Contributor Being a student at U of T is difficult, without a doubt. Being a student athlete at U of T, is another thing entirely. A sneak peek on the lives of UTSC representatives in the Varsity Blues. For U of T student athletes, playing for the Varsity Blues is a huge accomplishment. The following is an interview conducted with two UTSC students, Jermaine Burrell, who is currently a social science student who, at one time, played on the Varsity Blues soccer team. In our interview, he spoke about his past experiences on the team and gives advice to fellow UTSC student-athletes. We also spoke to Alex Garceau who is a statistics major in his fourth year at UTSC, and currently plays on the Varsity Blues squash team. He spoke about his experience playing on the Varsity Blues and gives advice to fellow UTSC student-athletes. They both know the experience of having to commute downtown for games and practices, while at the same time understand the emotional and physical perils of playing the game they love. The Underground (UG): How old were you when you started playing your sport? What is it about the sport that makes you want to play? Jermaine Burrell (JB): I was around five or six when I started playing soccer. I like the competition, it is a full body kind of sport, it takes a lot of technical ability and I love the challenge. Alex Garceau (AG): I started playing squash when I was 14 years old. I was in the beginning of grade eight when I started. Like any other sport, it is fun...We never stop improving so there is always something to work for. UG: What has your experience been like playing for the Varsity Blues teams and how many years have you been a part of

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the Varsity Blues? JB: It has been [a] rewarding and challenging experience but I definitely enjoyed it. Sometimes it was tough. Emotionally and physically it is tough. They really treat us like professional players. They expect a certain level of commitment and energy level. Their philosophy is ‘you practice how you play.’ It is [a] very demanding and draining experience but it is rewarding. It is worth it. I have been a part of the Varsity Blues for two years. Since then I have been playing for the UTSC intramurals. AG: It’s been great. Squash is an individual sport. When we play against other schools, I am not just playing for myself, I am also playing for my teammates as well. It is kind of like a community, a bond. We (squash teammates) push ourselves to train harder, to play harder. It helps me stay motivated to train harder. UG: How has your experience been like as a UTSC student commuting downtown or elsewhere for practice? JB: It is a big time commitment. The coaches are pretty understandable when I tell them I’ll be a little late for practice due to a class I have at that time. They are accommodating. But overall, it is tough and a little stressful. AG: The first year it was tough because I was not used to it. We have official practices four times a week...I purposely schedule my classes in the mornings and afternoons. The commute to downtown is usually a little over an hour. I have been doing it for three years now. I am used to it. UG: Jermaine, since you have done both, what is the difference in playing for the Varsity Blues and the UTSC intramurals? How is that experience? JB: Huge difference. The Varsity Blues treat us like professional players. On game days we go to the dressing room and our jerseys

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SPO RTS & W E L L N E SS 45

are all up on hangers. We have a new pair of socks and towels there as well. There is always water being provided. The environment, being a Varsity player down there people treat you differently, in a good way. It is not the same when it comes to the UTSC intramurals. Some do not even know that we have a soccer team here at UTSC. At Varsity games, there are usually a big crowd of spectators. Here, we do not have that same showing of spectators at the intramural games. But for both teams, it is like a family. I feel I spend more time with the Varsity because we travel more. It really becomes a family in that sense. For UTSC intramurals it is within U of T so there isn’t that much travel. It is all done locally. It is a different experience. UG: Alex, in your opinion, do you find there is difficulty in balancing studies and playing for the Varsity Blues? AG: In my first year there was some difficulty. But I learned to be more efficient. I learned to study on the bus and learned to manage my time properly. It is not a problem anymore. UG: How do you think the UTSC intramural soccer team will do this season? JB: We have been having a couple of tryouts recently. Lots of good talent and I believe we will be successful. From what I have seen, I am not worried at all. It should be a good year. UG: After graduating, what will you miss about being a part of the Varsity Blues and playing for U of T teams? JB: The people. I have played with these guys for several years. I am going to miss playing for [these] group of guys. Some of them, I play with on teams outside of the school as well. AG: The teammates. I will always be able to play squash on my own or find a club or a

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court somewhere. But the team experience... we train hard together and motivate each other and off-court. They are my friends too. That is definitely the thing I will miss the most. UG: What is your advice to UTSC students that want to try out for Varsity Blues teams? JB: If you plan to tryout and commit to the journey, it is quite challenging. Be prepared to make a time commitment and to make a commitment to your studies as well because for the team it is very important that you are passing your courses. You have to pass to play. If you are very driven to play soccer or any other sport but you are not academically driven it will not be to your benefit. The coaches will not play you in the games until your grades are up. You really have to shine and make your presence known. AG: First and foremost do not neglect your studies. When you fall behind it is very hard to catch up. If you decide to commit to trying out and you do make the team, do not start neglecting the team either. Learn to balance it well. It is your responsibility to get your work done and to go to practice because you are not only representing yourself but your teammates and the school too. Try to keep on top of things. UG: In your opinion, why do you think there is less representation of UTSC students on the Varsity Blues? JB: There is less population at UTSC which means less students to choose from. To be honest, it is about who you know than what you know. AG: I definitely do not think it’s a lack of athletic ability. I know there are a lot of athletic students at this campus. But probably it’s because most tryouts and practices are downtown and it’s the commitment of commuting all the way downtown and back.

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46 OP I N I ON

the misuse and desensitization of words

... Zarin Tasnim, Arts & Life Editor There’s an old saying that goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” While the intention behind the rhyme encourages children being taunted and bullied to stay strong and to not take the name calling to heart, the reality is much different. The meaning behind certain words have changed significantly throughout history. Colloquial phrases used back in the 90s aren’t the same anymore even if the reactions, connotations, and expectations behind them remain unchanged. There’s a constant effort being pushed to sound “politically correct”; measures and descriptive consideration are taken as to not offend those one is speaking to and speaking of. While there are many students who take great care in watching what words they chose to use on a daily basis, due to pop culture and the influence of the media, words are constantly desensitized and misused, perpetuating their original offensive intent. It’s important to understand the context behind words, especially when they are racial slurs or homophobic comments. People not identifying with certain cultural communities throw around statements that are offensive to these groups without realizing how they’re offensive in the first place. By using these phrases, it diminishes cultural identities and erases the effort put into reversing these negative stereotypes. “I find it offensive when people say, ‘That’s so gay’ as a response to something that is negative or displeasing. Something that you don’t like doesn’t equate to something that is gay; that’s my sexual preference and not a derogatory slur,” says Bill Jacobsen. He explains, “A couple of people who were

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using racial slurs told me that I shouldn’t be offended because I’m only half black. People who aren’t part of my community often do not understand the historical context behind these words...I think it’s important to consider the implication behind the words you’re choosing to use, especially if it originated in a community you are not part of.” Words associated with mental illness and other developmental issues are so often used that we become desensitized to their meaning. “I think the ones that really stand out to me are cases when people use terms of mental illness to denote relatively minor events. For example, “’My mom told me to clean the house, she’s so OCD!’” says fourthyear health and psychology student Chelsie Johnson. “Although in some cases they could be accurate, the overuse and the use in the wrong context demeans the struggles of those living with the mental illnesses.” Using these words work to desensitize, or in other words, lessen the shock factor associated with them. Although it may be used for comic relief, the subject of death should not be taken so lightly, as it disrespects those who struggle in their everyday lives and contemplate suicide. “A phrase that I feel is highly used nowadays is ‘I’m dead,’ to express how comedic or hilarious something is. I think this phrase neglects the true value of “living,” and being there in the moment for a mere expression of one’s amusement,” says fourth-year management student Talha Khatri. “‘I’m dead’ places a very low value to the reality of death, and using it in a context to express a short-lived feeling indirectly demoralizes the status of your life -- you are living and satisfied. There are many other ways to express your happiness, saying ’I’m dead’ shouldn’t be one of them,” he adds.

...

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Other words are misused not only for the hype they create on social media, but also for the possible benefits that can come with it. “The word ‘feminist’ is a hype word. I think it’s ineffective the way people use it, and it’s kind of just lost its true meaning. There are a lot of people saying that they are feminists without actually understanding what it means to be one,” says third-year neuroscience and mental health student Taha Tanzeem. Being a feminist often implies that you are socially aware and intelligent about controversial issues. Ten years ago, many were hesitant to label themselves as a feminist in fear of being socially rejected. Now, it’s a way to connect with people, and seem like the cooler person in the room. “I feel like feminism is an overused term because I’ve witnessed many instances where people would claim themselves as feminists, yet they would have double standards towards women, and sometimes even be blatantly sexist,” explains Michelle Dong, a second-year environmental science student. “On the contrary, there are those who would completely shut it down, but believe everything they stand for, just because of their ignorance towards the term itself,” she continues. In these cases, it is important to research and understand what it means to be a feminist in the first place, and not rely on hearsay from those around you. The way we communicate shapes the relationships we form, and the ideologies we develop through the years. It’s important to stay aware of the implications of the words we chose to use: when did being considerate become such a burden to society? Research, and stay informed by listening to people about their various experiences and how it affects them. Words can do a lot more than hurt; they can have a lasting impact on someone’s growth.

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