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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 MORE MONEY MORE PROBLEMS: TTC FARE INCREASE 8 THE DEMISE OF THE LRT 10 DEBUNKING TAXES AT UTSC 12 A BRIGHTER NEW YEAR ARTS & LIFE 14 NEW YEAR HOROSCOPES 16 TEDXUTSC: ELLIPSES FEATURE 20 THE DIASPORA BLUES SCIENCE & TECH 24 COMPUTER SCIENCE AT UTSC 26 THE EVOLUTION OF GAMING 28 SCIENCE ON THE TUBE 30 ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE 2K17 32 SUSTAINABILITY CORNER


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ISSUE/ 05 J A N U A R Y

Can you believe we’re halfway through the year? January, for me, feels like a Wednesday; the hump month of the year. In any case, we welcome a new semester with endless opportunities to explore new concepts in our classes or come up with more crafty justifications to evade going to classes at all. Being in my final year, I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I plan to do when I get to the other side of the hump. My legacy. Not necessarily academically or at UTSC, but also in my personal and professional life. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I do know that I would like my legacy to have a meaningful impact. One of the greatest lessons that I have taken away from my conversation with someone who has, within the past few years, been a Light to me is to “localize it” - The things I study, the work I do, and the people I want to create change for. I keep this thought in my heart and it has been, and will continue to be foundational, in everything that I hope to accomplish. So I hope that, while trying to get to the other side of the hump, I am able to do more and try to foster that meaningful impact for my locale.


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MORE MONEY MORE PROBLEMS: TTC FARE INCREASE Michael Chachura, Contributor In November, the TTC board approved a decision that might affect the wallets of many UTSC students who take the TTC on a daily basis. The board approved an increase on fares which include a rise in cost for tokens, Presto pass users, metropass users, day passes, and the Downtown Express stickers. According to the Toronto Star, the TTC plans to gain $27 million in revenue from this increase, yet, The Star also reports that even with this new revenue, the TTC would still have at least $61 million in missing funding. So while the prices are expected to go higher, yet again, how does this impact us? So far, UTSC students are able to buy select TTC products at the SCSU office for a discounted price. The SCSU buys adult metropasses through TTC’s VIP program that applies discounts to organizations purchasing metropasses in bulk. However, as the price of the adult metropass depends on the amount that is ordered by the SCSU, students can expect to pay either $128.75 or $130.25, a savings from the TTC retailer price of $146.25. Unfortunately, the discount is only available for adult metropasses and due to the $4.75 hike made by TTC board members, students will now pay $116.75 for post-secondary metropasses. For many UTSC students, the rising fare is a real issue. Bailey Elizabeth Near, a second-year student, thinks the fare is too high. “The price is a massive deterrence; I visit Toronto often enough that I should probably have a TTC pass by now, but it’s just too expensive,” Near says. “I walk everywhere in the Toronto area to avoid paying for transit. Occasionally I take transit, and that’s usually when the weather is horrible, or I’ve hurt myself.” Tulshi Chowdhury, a fourth-year student, says the price increase is tough to manage on a part-time employment. “I buy a metropass each month, so the price increase is definitely more noticeable, and becomes a little hard to buy each month on a part-time job,“ Chowdhury says. Many university students across the GTA work part-time jobs; an increase in fare doesn’t make it easier to make ends meet considering the multitude of other expenses students may have. Students that are 19 or younger are eligible for the student rate of $2 on the TTC; this

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eligibility, however, isn’t always granted. A high school student who looks older than 19 and who may or may not have identification on-hand, may still end up paying the difference and a younger university student who is still eligible to pay $2 has to pay the difference as well. According to student Hassan Ahmad, 19, some drivers are not abiding by those rules. “Numerous times I have taken the TTC from UTSC, and the driver insists that I pay the adult fare,” Ahmad says. “I am currently 19, and I’ve proven it with my driver’s license, but for some reason, they just assume that it’s not legit. It bothers me because why should I be paying a buck more every time if I’m still 19?” When asked if 19-year-old university students can pay $2 for fare, Brad Ross, spokesperson for the TTC says, “Yes, the concession category for youth is ages 13-19.” Along with frustration with the rise in fare, Ahmad is also unhappy with the quality of service TTC provides. “As riders of the TTC, we have seen an increase in fares for about five to six consecutive years now - public transit is supposed to be affordable,” Ahmad says. “It might be fair for them, but for the services I get, including delays, I am not up for the raise in the fare.” Rachel Blake Wong, a third-year student, rode the TTC almost daily in her first two years at UTSC. She now lives in Markham, and rarely takes the TTC; she rides VIVA or York Region Transit (YRT) instead. She commutes to school on a VIVA bus until it arrives at Steeles Avenue and then takes a TTC bus to campus. “The VIVA/YRT fare is even higher, $4.00 cash, or $3.50 with Presto, but the service is definitely better. YRT/VIVA buses are almost never late, and their bus drivers are super-friendly. Also, [the buses are] much cleaner,” Wong says. Wong has not had a pleasant experience with the TTC, however, sharing, “I don’t drive, so public transit is really my only option other than walking,” she says. “I’m not paying $3.25 for buses that are always late, rude drivers, and buses that are not clean.” The price of the TTC is going up and becoming more of a burden on students. What makes this so important is that many students don’t have other transportation option and rely mainly on the TTC. Not all students are disgruntled by the TTC, but those that are have very interesting observations about the service they pay for.

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NEWS

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NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

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NEWS

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LRT THE DEMISE OF THE

Nida Zafar, News Associate

As the LRT-Subway Extension saga continues, Scarborough is once again getting the short end of the stick. The LRT (Light Rail Train) was recently rejected this past December, in favor of a subway extension of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth line). This decision comes just days after the discussion for the LRT was put back on the table. The approved Bloor-Danforth subway extension, favoured by Mayor John Tory, will travel from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Town Centre, with one stop in between that has yet to be decided, and is estimated to cost $3.2 billion. But the cost of this is expected to rise, due in part to inflation, and also the fact that this estimate was based on city council finding a suitable route for the extension this past July, which didn’t happen. It is unclear how many members of Council voted for the subway extension, but it’s enough to give the project the go-ahead. The LRT-Subway Extension saga has had a long, whirlwind journey. The LRT was first approved in 2012 by city council, but a year later, council reversed their decision and gave the subway extension the go-ahead instead. The LRT would have had seven stops, including stops at Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road, and Morningside Avenue to University of Toronto Scarborough. This project was originally estimated to cost $1.8 billion. Vice President External Sitharsana Srithas notes that by rejecting the LRT, “The city has failed to address the overdue transit needs of Scarborough.” This change affects many UTSC students, as the proposed LRT stop on campus would have made it easier

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for students to commute to and from campus. This would eliminate the need to transfer buses or subway lines, and overall make these trips shorter. One of the many students who uses the TTC on a daily basis to get to campus is Allyn Palma, a second-year media studies student. “Not only do I use public transport to get to campus, but I use it to go everywhere as it’s my main mode of transportation…[the LRT] would have helped UTSC students because it would have made getting around so much easier,” she says. In 2015, student enrollment at UTSC included more than 12,000 students, and many of whom likely relied on taking public transit to the campus. This is proven by the fact that 675 buses arrive on campus Monday through Friday each week, to accommodate the countless number of students who count on public transit to get to campus. Srithas and the SCSU have been advocating for better transit since June, voicing the concerns of UTSC students about transit including the need for greater accessibility between U of T campuses. “Students of UTSC were really grateful when the Scarborough Transit Plan was announced by Mayor Tory…it opens up a lot of opportunities for [them] such as making it more accessible to take more courses at the downtown campus,” Srithas says. The decision to withhold the LRT offsets an agreement made with the campus, as UTSC students were promised the LRT extension years ago. The LRT was guaranteed to UTSC students, when the school officials committed to a capital tax that contributed to the construction of the Toronto Pan Am Centre. Srithas adds, “The

JANUARY 5 - FEBRUARY 1, 2017

LRT was supposed to be built in time for the Pan Am Games last year but here we are, still debating on whether the LRT is going to be executed. It’s time to stop debating, get shovels in the ground, and actually start building.” The approval of the subway extension option resulted from a sway of votes from councillors. The change-in-vote is said to have come from the information in a “misleading briefing note” produced by the TTC. The note circulated City Hall days before a vote was made this past July, that was in favour of creating a one-stop subway extension, rather than the LRT, as was promised to UTSC students. According to the Toronto Star, the email stated that the cost for the LRT had risen from $1.8 billion to $2.97 billion, bringing the cost of the LRT to almost the same level as the cost of the subway extension. The subway extension will prevent passengers getting off at Kennedy Station to switch to the RT; however, things won’t change much for UTSC students, as they will still have to take the 38 Highland Creek bus route to get to campus. The LRT would have allowed students to get to campus without transferring between multiple subways and buses. Palma says that she doesn’t understand the point of the subway extension. “The subway extension isn’t going to change anything that we’re doing right now. All it’s going to do is replace the current RT.” At this time there’s no set start or completion date for the Bloor-Danforth subway extension. There also isn’t a concrete amount in terms of the cost for this project. Until then, students can remain hopeful that changes to transit can be made to better accommodate their needs, as well as the needs of Scarborough’s many residents.

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DEBUNKING TAXES

AT UTSC Marjan Asadullah, News Editor

We’ve all heard the saying: “There are only two things certain in life, death and taxes”, and the SCSU’s Tax Clinic was created mainly to help students deal with one of those things. Initiated in 2006, in collaboration with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), the Tax Clinic is a free walk-in service that helps UTSC students complete their income tax and benefit returns. The program operates alongside 50 student volunteer staff as well as sponsors, which include the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) and Meridian Credit Union The clinic is one that facilitates an environment for students to learn teamwork, communication, and of course, tax filing. The clinic provides a “high standard of accurate and efficient tax filing services.” They also aim to educate tax filers on the “tax filing process, giving students the knowledge and confidence” that will prepare them for the future. “Why file taxes?”, you may be ask. Because the government says so. Seriously. Filing taxes is legislated by the federal government through the Canadian Revenue Agency. Essentially it is is a self-assessment system that helps the government find out about individuals annual income, as well as help people claim refunds and claim GST/HST credit. Although this service is available for all UTSC students, the tax clinic has mentioned that they are able to assist personal tax returns

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for students with an annual income of less than $30,000. The downside to this service is that they have mentioned that the service is not available to assist students with personal businesses or rental income that they may be collecting and expenses, as well as capital gains or losses, including investments. With the tax clinic, Canada Revenue Agency will review the information you’ve submitted, and will confirm that all calculations are done correctly. The tax return will take up to four to six weeks to process, and a notice of assessment will be sent; it’s advised you keep it for your record. This service is a necessity, however most students on campus are not aware of it. In response, there have been more posters and advertisements spread throughout the campus to spread the word. Before heading to the office, however, you must bring some personal information with you: - Your U of T card (or T-Card) - Passport (a requirement for international students at UTSC) - Individual Tax Number (ITN) letter, or a Social - Insurance Number (SIN) card - Direct Deposit Information or VOID Cheque - Canadian mailing address One benefit of filing taxes is that even if you don’t have a job or income, you can still file and be eligible to receive money for refund or money credit. In other words, go down to the SCSU Tax Clinic and take advantage of the opportunity.

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A BRIGHTER NEW YEAR Thomas Wood, VP Academics & University Affairs A new semester is upon us, complete with the traditional posts about marks missing from ACORN, school resuming too early and of course all the anticipation about what the next semester might hold. While you finalize your classes, and wait for those last couple marks to trickle in, you should also spend some time thinking about how last semester went, and what you need to do this semester to guide you towards your final destination. I am a strong believer in new beginnings, and not just the often parodied #NewYearNewMe kind. The release from the past, granted by a new beginning, has the potential to refresh, refuel and focus you. But in order to take advantage of the opportunity, you need to think about your life and, sometimes, make hard decisions. One of my favorite podcasters, C.G.P Grey, once described the way he thinks about his life in a way that strongly resonated with me. Imagine that you, all the energy and attention that you hold is a battery. Now, add into this mental diagram a series of lightbulbs all connected to the battery, all drawing power. These are the different areas of your life: work, friends, family, food, assignments, classes, etc. At any one point, you only have enough energy within you to power some of these lights. Which ones do you keep on? Which ones do you dim? Which ones can be turned off? It’s never an easy thing to say no to something that you want to do, or are interested in, and that is a good thing. Doing

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things that you enjoy is rewarding. But when multiplied over a semester, adding in work, school and all the other requirements of being a university student, all those individual actions add up and drain your battery life to zero. New beginnings are the ideal points to do this hard work. Sit down, look at the energy you’ve been pointing into your lights and decide if what you’re doing is sustainable. Make sure that when you’re looking at your previous expenditures of energy, you’re looking with a critical eye. No one can do everything, and trying to do it all can often be counterproductive, leading you to accomplish less than if you had just said no to a few things. When setting your new levels, try to be objective in what you can realistically accomplish. Avoid the mistake of thinking that new beginnings only come with the start of a new year, but also avoid frequently messing around with your priorities, as this can make it hard to tell how much energy you really have to give to a light. While every day is a new beginning, what makes new beginnings powerful is their meaning to you: starting a new semester, a new job, a new book, or a new project. A couple of dead batteries isn’t the end of the world. Slipping up, forgetting to turn off a light, or breaking a light bulb are not reasons to give up. You have the power to learn and move forward. It’s not easy, but with each small adjustment, you will eventually bring yourself into alignment. Finally, don’t forget that sometimes the best thing to do is simply turn off all the lights and just sleep.

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

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NEW YEAR HOROSCOPES Pavitura Kanagasabai, Contributor

events that are out of the ordinary as long as they you will be blessed with a greater than usual ability are planned for the first half of the month. to communicate your thoughts at this time. Leo (July 23-August 22) January is a great month for revitalizing matters pertaining to your finances and going through relationship milestones. As Mars will further intensify these urges, you may want to slow down any abrupt or impulsive ideas. Your fiery nature will not be beneficial for subjects requiring deep thought so ensure that you ask for advice ahead of time from a financial advisor or a trusted friend. Moreover, any routines you implement for better health will have you going on a roll and will boost your self-esteem and ego. Consequently, it is recommended that you revise what and who is in your day-to-day life as you will have a healthier outlook on your needs.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Although you may feel like this is a fantastic time to host family events, you will encounter issues with your recount of past events. Due to this possible chance of miscommunication you are better off applying your analytical skills towards finances and any assets you may hold, such as any investment in stocks. If not, this is a prime time for you to learn more about your options on building your finances and future plans pertaining to financial matters. As well, put your brain to work by reflecting on past romantic affairs. Your Venus transiting your 12th house makes for an optimal time to make wise judgements on reaching out to people from your past with an optimistic approach.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It will be a slow start for creative matters for you, as Venus will aspect Saturn at the beginning, delaying any artistic projects. You may find that you will encounter heavy procrastination when it comes to handing in any written work or dealing with written communication which may contribute to relationship issues. Your inner drive is high but you will be too concerned with the quality of your work, so planning ahead is significant this month. The Sun in your 10th house of career will make for an encouraging month for brushing up your resume until the 28th.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) The abundance of planets circulating your 7th house forces you to reflect on aspects of yourself that are reflected in your life. Group activities will be highly appealing to as you will have a mighty desire to learn more about yourself through others. This is also an auspicious time for you in matters concerning love and romance. Be sure to find some time to attend social events where you will be able to present your best self and make new connections. Too add to this cycle of good luck you will be blessed with a better connection to matters pertaining to the creative arts making it easier for your usual analytical self to entertain guests and host parties during this time.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You may have strong urges to put your eggs in many baskets, which will allow you to communicate better in your projects. It is your time for proposing new ideas or gaining investors in your new ideas. You will also attract others’ optimism through your cheerful attitude and your wit. This may be unusual for you, but you will benefit from trusting your intuition this month as it will be at an all time high with communication matters. It looks like January will be an amazing month to start off the year with any business-related action plans.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This is a great time for investing as your financial acumen is high at the start of this month. The planet of love and beauty in your 10th house is indicative of a time for promotions or any unexpected raises or lucky breaks in your work life. An expansion of this good fortune is highly likely to occur on or near the 9th when Mars in your 10th house will aspect Jupiter, the planet of great fortune. You will be blessed in occupational matters at the beginning of the year so this will be the perfect opportunity for implementing any careerrelated resolutions or having promotional meetings with your boss.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Communication during this time will be more emotionally-charged, perhaps you will have more of an appreciation for those that are the most dearest to you, such as family, because you will experience a better memory during this time. Although this moment will follow the holiday season, it is the ideal to spend time thinking about matters relating to your domestic life. Since this transit will accentuate any good family connections you may already have, ensure that you welcome and enjoy any events that you are invited to as some of your best memories are likely to be made during this time.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You will be fortunate in travel matters starting at the beginning of the month as you will find yourself applying these plans with full force. This also applies to matters of furthering education in all fields as you will be attracted to ideas that require further learning; however you will feel pressure near the middle of the month as your new arrangements will cause issues pertaining to health and other aspects of daily maintenance as Saturn will square your Mars on the 19th. The Sun occupying your house of partnership compelling you to think deeper on topics of relationships and selfanalysis. Overall, this is a fortunate time for any

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a dazzling month for you, Scorpio, as you will be likely to be adorned with love, charm, and appreciation. The only issue you will have to steer clear of encountering with this abundance of planets in your 5th house is any drama that you may playfully escalate. Be cautious that you may be one of the few that are enjoying this time postMercury retrograde as others are diving fresh into other events that may be appealing to them. This month is most likely the most enjoyable month of the year for you so don’t depend on others to validate your happiness. You will appreciate spending time with yourself and meeting new people as

Aries (March 21-April 19) Although you may have exciting and ambitious plans for the New Year, you will inevitably reach a point where you will want to work more behindthe-scenes rather than in the foreground. Your ruling planet, Mars, touches the 12th house on the first day of the year and will allow you to have better access to any issues related to your psyche. You would most benefit from planning how to execute your resolutions this month rather than focusing on its execution. Venus’ simultaneous transit through your house of restrictions also signifies a more planned approach for any relationship concerns. The need to spend most of your time devising any plans for changes is high, but don’t get discouraged as next month will be the time for assertion.

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Aquarius (January 20-February 18) Your desire to gain material products are very high but this also has the effect of letting you undervalue your money. Be sure to consult a friend before making a big purchase so that they can assess any risks that you might be blindsided by. Although others may be dusting off the effects of the wary Mercury retrograde period, you are not yet immune to all matters pertaining to communication. Your spontaneous nature may create drama for those closest so beware of how you come off to those around you. Your mind will be focussed on matters from the past, and even though this may be unusual for you it is a great time for you to make the best of this new awareness during this peak period for observations. Pisces (February 19-March 20) January is one of the best months of the year for you, Pisces, as you will have three important planets. During this recovery period following a crazy three week period of Mercury’s backward orbit, you will find that you will be more attentive to family and other close relationships. It is a great time to be able to have a lowkey hangout with your closest friends as you will not need to spend a lot of money to be able to have a great time. You may indulge without any guilt during this time and let your most relaxed side be readily apparent as Venus transits your house of self. It is an amazing period for selfimprovement matters, especially those relating to your appearance or mannerisms. VOLUME 36, ISSUE 05


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TEDxUTSC: Ellipses Samantha Ryan, Contributor TEDxUTSC is an annual event in which chosen students, university staff and faculty, and external speakers create and perform speeches on topics of their choice. It is an independently organized event, organized by UTSC students and licensed by TED Global, which uses an educative platform using celebrities and other individuals whom have strong messages or interesting topics to convey. TEDxUTSC is just one of many things that make the campus such an inclusive and stimulating environment for both the student body and faculty alike, as it allows them to learn from the personal stories and thoughts of their peers. The Underground had the opportunity to interview two of this year’s speakers, Hana Syed and professor David Zweig.

Hana Syed

Hana Syed, a third year double major in Neuroscience and Psychology, is the student speaker for this year’s TEDxUTSC. Alongside her brother in sister, Syed is part of a non-profit organization called ‘Global Youth Impact’ with. Syed disclosed information on several topics, ranging from balancing a workload with extracurricular activities, to public speaking, to finding a sense of identity. The Underground (UG): What interested you in participating in TEDxUTSC? Hana Syed (HS): I think that TEDx is a unique type of platform because it allows you to reach out to a greater sized community, or, generally, people that you wouldn’t necessarily always get the opportunity to talk to. (I chose to get involved) mainly because it’s a platform where I can get my word out, opposed to when I’m just chatting away. UG: Do you have a topic in mind that you’re interested in speaking about? HS: My topic is on identity; (in essence), about how there’s a lot of ambiguity surrounding the term ‘identity’, and how there’s

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intersectionality that (isn’t) necessarily thought of when we think of the term ‘identity’. I talk about how, as a society, we’re so used to labelling people based off of their physical appearances when there’s actually so much more behind it. So, I guess my take-home message is really about how we need to reject labels that society or individuals impose on us so that we can find our individual identities and our own sense of belonging in this world. UG: How did you connect your talk idea to the theme ‘Ellipses’? HS: ‘Ellipses’ is really about a break in a sentence. [The] theme [is] about how the media, or people (in general), tend to create a bias off of people’s personal stories, and because you’re the person telling your story, there’s not going to be any bias from what other people may have heard about it. UG: How do you attain the confidence to put yourself in such a vulnerable and open position to get up in front of so many people and share what you think? HS: I enjoy it! I’m a singer: I sing with my siblings, so you get this weird kind of high, I guess, from being onstage or being in front of a crowd of people. I love feeding off of the energy from being in front of such a [large] group of people. UG: Do you have any advice for others that are interested in partaking in TEDxUTSC?

UG: Describe the application process for TEDxUTSC. I understand the applicants had to submit a video? HS: So, what happened is I saw it on Facebook; they were posting a lot about submitting a video audition. So, you basically just had to film yourself doing a [speech]–kind of talking about yourself–give a background, and then pitch your idea to the TEDx team. I think it was like a three to four minute video and then there were three rounds [to go through]. That was the first round. The second round was where you had an interview with some of the team members, basically talking about your talk and just who you are as a person. The third round, you had to write a mini speech, so it was a bit longer than the first video. I think it was about ten minutes long and you just had to do it so they could kind of get the feel for what you were like as a speaker. UG: How do you manage to balance things like TEDxUTSC and other extracurricular activities with what I imagine would be a heavy course load? HS: So, I’m actually pretty involved: I have

HS: Yeah, I would (suggest they) go for it! I know there’s only one student position they give as a speaker and it’s kind of just like, you go for it and you see if you get it or not. It’s really interesting because TEDx allows you to talk about things that you don’t necessarily always get the chance to talk about, and if you have the opportunity, then seize it!

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AR T S & L I F E 17 NOOR AQIL / THE UNDERGROUND

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18 A RT S & L IF E PHOTO COURTESY OF UTSC

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Professor David Zweig (DZ): I’m going to be talking about my research. My research focuses on deviant behavior at work, so I like to look at the dark side of behavior in organizations because I’m an organizational psychologist. That’s what interests me. UG: What appealed to you about speaking at this event? DZ: I was asked! They approached me and I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I give this a shot?’. I think it’s a fantastic event, and it’s a great opportunity. There are some things that I want to talk about that I think will be useful for some of the [attendees] at TEDx. my own nonprofit organization. It’s called Global Youth Impact. Basically, we’re a platform for young people or youth to be leaders, social advocates, and change makers within their communities and, [in] larger scales, abroad. That takes up a lot of my time! I’m also a singer: I sing with my siblings in a band called DEYS. Currently we have a song out with the Child Labour initiative. Last year we wrote and performed a song for the ParaPan Am and Pan Am Games, so that was featured by the BBC and Global News. I do a lot, and people are always asking, “How do you manage to balance it all?” Honestly, I don’t know! I think that, yes education has always been my number one and it’s something that’s definitely a priority to me, but, as an undergraduate student, we’re so young and right now is the time to go do things that you want to, you know?

Professor David Zweig

Professor David Zweig is an Associate Professor who teaches Organizational Behaviour and is also the Chair of the Department of Management at UTSC. He sat down to chat with us about his interesting research on deviancy, and to give a preview on what to expect during his talk this year. The Underground (UG): What are you planning on speaking about at TEDxUTSC?

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UG: What’s the message you wish to convey with your talk, and do you have a particular audience in mind that you want to reach? DZ: Well, I’m assuming the majority of the audience will be students here at UTSC and perhaps other students elsewhere. I want to talk a little bit about my experiences studying people’s behavior at work and how we make sense of those behaviors. Also, I’m talking a little bit about some of the things that people engage in at work that can create a negative cycle of deviance, how we deal with that, and how we can actually break that cycle. UG: What interested you in getting into that type of research? DZ: I am going to talk about that for my TEDx talk, but it was an experience that I had in graduate school that got me really interested in looking at employee privacy and surveillance, and really delving into what that means for employees and how they react to it, and how that creates a cycle of deviance at work.

in these cycles, and so I’m going to talk a little bit about how we actually can break out of those cycles and create a different cycle that isn’t so deviant. UG: In your own opinion, what would you consider different about TEDx talk versus teaching in a lecture hall? DZ: It is completely different. It’s the same in the sense that I’m getting up in front of a group of people, but in a classroom, what I’m really talking about are the relevant theories and concepts for the topics I’m discussing. Here what I’m talking about is my own research, my own experiences, and the lessons that I’ve learned from my own research and experiences. In a classroom, it’s more about what we know about theory and practice, but this is really about what I have done over my career in terms of my research, which is pretty cool to have a chance to do. UG: How do you feel TEDxUTSC is beneficial in giving students and faculty a voice to speak on what they’re passionate about? DZ: I think it’s great! Anytime you have the chance to speak on what you’re passionate about, what you know something about, where you can make a contribution and offer something useful to others, I think it’s a great opportunity. TEDxUTSC is on Feb. 4, 2017 and tickets are onsale now. Hana and Professor Zweig are just two of many wonderful speakers, all of whom have equally interesting topics. The night is bound to be filled with stimulating, exciting and thought-provoking speeches, so it’s definitely something you do not want to miss!

UG: How did you tie your talk into this year’s theme? DZ: I’m really going to be talking about cycles of deviance. So, how we get trapped into these cycles of increasing deviance, especially when we’re being monitored at work, and when people do bad things, how we retaliate. And then again, we get trapped

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2 0 FE AT U R E RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

THE DIASPORA BLUES

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“So, here you are too foreign for home too foreign for here never enough for both” “Diaspora Blues” by Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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22 FE AT U R E

Zarin Tasnim, Arts & Life Editor One of the most important characteristics of UTSC is the diverse body of students that study here. The campus attracts not only international students, but many that come from immigrant families. Those that have moved from their country of origin to another place like Canada, are known to be part of the diasporic community. The word ‘diaspora’ signifies and highlights the many connections and affiliations one might have to different areas of the world; however with it, comes a unique set of difficulties and challenges that impact how one shapes their identity. The way we express ourselves, whether through gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality is culturally constructed. For some children of the diaspora, the anxiety that stems from being part of a diasporic community comes in two folds. Life seems to be fractured in two parts: one at home and the other outside it. In fact, most often, these facets are constantly being changed and shaped by our surroundings. Members of a diaspora, and particularly ones that are racialized, often find themselves being pulled in contradicting directions. This can be seen in many immigrant families: what is practiced in their place of origin often contrast what is considered the norm in the country they have moved to. For some first generation Canadian students who have immigrant parents, they must often negotiate between Western culture and tradition that is being practiced at home. Andrew Vyravipillai, a second-year student earning a double major in human biology and psychology says, “I would say that it is definitely a unique experience to be a child of immigrant parents. As much as there are differing values among us, it allows me to get a look into the upbringing of my parents and their own struggles. My parents immigrated from Sri Lanka more than 20 years ago to gain a better life and start a family. Coming from a conservative culture, they had traditional views on education, marriage and discipline, to name a few. One primary struggle throughout my schooling was what my par-

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ents considered to be a reputable profession. They pushed me to work hard to become a doctor or engineer as it was their dream for me, and what would bring the greatest pride to our family. To this day, I hope to make my parents proud but I can see that they have also adapted to this westernized culture and have a broader outlook toward life.” It is characteristic among immigrant family members to have very particular ideas not only about education, but also about the professions they want their children to choose. As many immigrant parents come from newly industrialized countries, often with reputable resumes and accomplished degrees, they are sometimes not recognized in countries like Canada. This forces them into low paying jobs in the labour force. In situations like this, immigrant parents often put pressure on their children to enter job sectors that promise a higher income. “In terms of my culture, it has been a journey in itself to truly embrace and appreciate my roots. Growing up, I felt different in school and thought that my classmates looked down on me based on my culture,” says Vyravipillai. “Even though I was born here, I possessed many of the traditional elements and language from my parents throughout grade school. I was lucky enough to have many friends who were very supportive of my culture which made the balance much easier. Now, I personally don’t have much exposure of my culture at home aside from the food and the rare cultural event. I guess as the years went on, it was easier to be proud of my upbringing and celebrate the diversity that exists in our very own city.” One of the most prevalent sources of anxiety amongst members of diaspora and immigrant communities is the contrasting cultures between their place of origin and the area they have moved to. Many often experience not only a sense of unfamiliarity, in terms of how one should mediate between the two worlds, but they also negotiate their ties to both places. Although, in some instances, a crisis of identity sets into motion because folks find themselves at a difficult position. For some children of immigrant parents, there is

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pressure from both sides: pressure to conform to societal norms that surround them and pressure to remain connected to their roots and tradition. Third-year biology and psychology student Gabrielle Bissessar says,“I grew up in a predominantly white neighbourhood and I was one of three students of colour in school until around high school. I grew up very ‘Canadianized’. My white friends always kept telling me I was so ‘white-washed for a brown girl’ and that I was not a ‘typical brown girl’. For a while, this was a compliment to me, if I’m being honest. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how backhanded these comments were.” She explains, “I used to hide my culture: correcting the way my parents pronounced certain words, never having cultural foods around friends and ‘act[ed] white.’ Today I’ve come to realize that I’m happy with who I am, but in many instances I still have to remind myself to be who I actually am and not hide facets of myself.” Children of immigrant parents struggle with the notion of a complete identity. Teenage and young adult years are crucial for not only building one’s character, but also building values that one finds important. Although most embrace the dual or multiple sides of their identity, there are also those who may reject facets of their culture in order to fully assimilate into another. It is important to acknowledge that many immigrating populations who are part of colonized nations still value Western standards of beauty or ensure that they learn standard English. These effects can be amplified when members of these communities immigrate to countries like Canada or the US because even now the West is considered the benchmark for progress. Often, teenagers or young adults, in order to fit in, find themselves trying to adhere to these standards. “I struggle the most with my identity because of this. I’ve never truly identified with my ‘home’ culture. Sure, I have Trinidadian heritage, but I was also raised by Italian and Vietnamese families, introducing me to vastly different values,” says second-year health studies and neuroscience student Phoebe Maharaj. “Growing up in such a different way from my mom makes communication hard sometimes,

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but I don’t think I would change my experiences if given the opportunity,” she adds. There is also a gender component to the amount of anxiety faced by children of immigrant parents as well as the ways in which they experience it. Women in particular are known as cultural carriers - it is their responsibility to learn their culture of origin from their mothers to one day pass that knowledge to their children. This puts pressure on women to maintain their traditional roots relative to men. That is not to say that men do not also experience this stress, however in most cultures women are expected to take care of children and by doing so, they also have to make sure they are taught the customs of their parents. Some folks from these communities chose to stay rooted to the culture they practice at home, while others try their best to assimilate to the country they have immigrate to. However there are some that remain in a grey space - that straddle the line between cultures. For these folks, culture and identity multi faceted and three dimensional - they build their own sense of selfhood that is comprised of different parts that may not fit perfectly together. With the rise of social media, members of diaspora have expressed the anxieties faced in their communities through various platforms to reach out to others. In fact, GTA-based writers like Rupi Kaur, artists like Hate Copy and Ojoagi as well as podcasts like GYALCAST are some examples of young people who come from immigrant parents and have utilized their dual identity, through their art, in order to portray the struggles and narratives that exist within these communities. It is important to acknowledge that life for the children of immigrants may be difficult at certain times because their identities can have contrasting elements - it requires an incredible amount of strength to navigate between cultures to build a character that pays respect to the places they are connected to but at the same time stay true to themselves. Everyone’s journey through navigating and negotiating between cultures is a personal one and while at times it can be difficult, it can incredibly rewarding as well. It is easy to feel isolated and lost when it seems like you are not part of something whole, but it is important to remember that different parts can join together to make something uniquely complete as well.

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24 S C I E N C E & T EC H

COMPUTER SCIENCE AT UTSC Kristina Dukoski, Science & Tech Editor The UTSC computer science program explores both the theory and practical aspects of computer technology, thus providing those enrolled with an extensive basis for success in post-graduate endeavors. The field of computer science itself is a fast-paced subject area, due to the rate of technological advancement in today’s society. There are several programs that are assigned to those wishing to enter the field: the specialist program in computer science, the specialist co-op program in computer science, the specialist program in management and information technology, the major program in computer science, the major co-op program in computer science, and the minor program in computer science. There are also courses offered to non-program students, such as CSCA20 Introduction to Programming and CSCB20 Introduction to Databases and Web Applications. CSCA20 requires no previous exposure to programming, whereas CSCB20 is the recommended follow-up program to CSCA20 or CSCA08, Introduction to Computer Science I. Although computer science is a much sought after field, UTSC comp-sci students keep their heads below the surveying radar, which has led to the creation of several stereotypes and misconceptions about the program. That’s why UTSC comp-sci students are eager to step up to the plate in order to debunk, affirm, or clarify the common misconceptions surrounding their area of study. The analysis begins with the topic of the program’s workload. Hayden Whitney, computer science specialist at UTSC, explains that the amount of work depends on the courses themselves. “Some courses just have a few really difficult assignments but other courses have a large amount of more manageable tasks”, says Whitney, “There’s also a few really heavy courses which can demand a huge amount of time. If you end up taking two in one semester, you would need to be very disciplined and not

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prone to panic” Daniel Johnston, computer science major and linguistics minor, amplifies Whitney’s point by highlighting that the level of experience that the individual has also affects how tough the work is. Johnston says, “I think the (weight of the workload) is up to your level of proficiency. I’ll take a programming course as an example; someone who is really good at programming might consider the workload to be nothing…The workload for someone like that will not be as tough for someone who is just coming in.” Another factor that makes the work tough is the speed at which students are expected to learn new coding techniques. Johnston mentions, “The biggest frustration is that they (the professors) don’t really keep you on a language that you know in order to build on new concepts: first year, you start on Python; second year, you go to Java; and third year, you go to C and C++. Each one of these is more complex than the last.” Many opportunities are provided to comp-sci students, alongside consistent studies, that hone their skills and prepare them for the future. Samanthi Jeyaraj, a fourth-year double major in computer science and mathematics, fondly reflects on her co-op term with Blackberry. She states, “The first eight months I was a developer on the Bluetooth team, and the last four months, (I was a) project manager. Being a developer was very thrilling, knowing (that) what you work on will be used by thousands, if not millions, of people.” Govind Mohan, a comp-sci and philosophy major, and an economics minor, avers that such opportunities arise most fruitfully when one takes steps to familiarize themselves with the academics in the field. “Post-graduate studies require a higher level of dedication to the subject; undergrad shows you all the fields you can specialize in, out of which you can take your pick. A vital part of this would be to get in touch with academia, especially academics pertaining to the field(s) you are interested in. Few realize how intelligent (and awesome) professors are!”, Mohan says.

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With such large amounts of work and such immense promise for the future, it is no shock that comp-sci student life is laden with stereotypes. The first stereotype alleges that computer science students have issues with general social or romantic interactions. Johnston breaks open this stereotype by mentioning, “It goes back to what (we were talking about) regarding (proficiency). If you are on the side that has experience and you’re able to get through things, I don’t see why you couldn’t have a social life. If you’re someone who is really trying to learn this stuff and going on-the-fly, it’s going to take up a lot of your time. It all depends on the person.” Mohan amplifies Johnston’s point with emphasis on romantic endeavors: “No matter how busy you think you are, the right person will make you forget about all else. It is a matter of finding that person, though.” One major stereotype claims that there is a shortage of females within the program. Whitney affirms the preconception stating, “It’s definitely true to some extent, but it’s not like there’s classes with none in them. If I had to guess, I’d say that about 10-20 per cent of the students are female, both in the lower and upper year classes.” Jeyaraj provides her opinion on the claim, stating that, despite the current condition, it appears to her that there are signs that women are beginning to be better represented within the program. “There is a huge gender gap. But I see more females in first year CS than when I was in first year. It is slowly improving but we have a long way to go”, she mentions. In summary, it appears as though the stereotype stating that all comp-sci students are socially inept is not true; in essence, it depends on several factors, including the personality type of the student themselves, and the way that they handle the obligations that are carried with the program. On the other hand, the stereotype that claims that there is a low representation of women within the program has been proven true; however, there are signs of improvement that carry hope for a more diverse future in the field.

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SCIE NCE & H E A LT H 25 IDIL DJAFAR THE UNDERGROUND UNDERGROUND ELIZABETH LIU // THE

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26 S C I E N C E & T EC H ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

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SCIE NCE & H E A LT H 27

THE EVOLUTION OF GAMING

COMPARING PRESENT AND PAST GENERATIONS Rezoan Arnob, Entertainment Tech Daily President Over a decade ago, the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2 came on the scene and delighted gamers: experiencing such graphics that dynamically danced across the screen was truly surreal. Some heavy-hitting titles that were available on such consoles included Spiderman 2, Shrek Super Slam and the Dragon Ball Z Budokai series, among many others. Flash-forward to the present, and consoles like the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and the recently-announced Nintendo Switch have captured the attention of avid gamers. Much has changed for gaming over the past decade and a half: graphics are clearer, and the practice of gaming itself is much more connected. However, despite there being some obvious positive changes, do advancements always make gameplay better? Let’s focus on the positive first: it can be said that the current generation of consoles introduces a huge graphical leap when compared to the Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2, etc. The current technology of ‘the now’ makes it possible to play games in mind boggling 4K resolutions, and the games themselves are able to deliver breath-taking visuals that rival the production quality of the latest Hollywood blockbuster films. The current generation of consoles, the PS4 for example, also have something that the previous generation of consoles lacked: a very social component. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have connections with social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube

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and twitch. These social applications make it possible for gamers to stream their gameplay to various audiences around the world. It ensures the globalization of a hobby that was once considered a very individualistic amusement. Furthermore, another element that has changed over the years is the inclusion of various streaming services for the current batch of consoles. The PlayStation Now service is a service that allows owners of the PlayStation 4 to experience thousands of games at affordable prices. Many years ago, if a gamer was behind in a game series or trilogy and they wanted to catch up, it would require the consumer to purchase all of the games in the respective series to get caught up. No longer is that the case in the current generation, where all the games of the series are presented to the consumer. PlayStation Now is a great service. It is the Netflix of gaming for the PlayStation fandom, and, just like Netflix, a monthly subscription fee choice is given to the consumer in exchange for access to a massive amount of content. Alongside all of the benefits reaped from current systems, there come drawbacks of equal importance. The stigma associated with the current generation of consoles is that most of the games that are available on present devices are often remakes of previous games; in fact, 2015 ushered in the remastered versions of numerous titles from numerous franchises. Some of those remasters included Borderlands, Devil May Cry and the Dark Souls series. Even in 2016, remasters are being made left and right, including within the Batman Arkham series and the Bioshock

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collection. Creating remasters of games is not the problem; the real issue arises when the remasters are released so frequently. It sends a message to gamers about the lack of quality content for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yet another issue associated with the current generation of gaming is the constant inclusion of downloadable content (DLC) for games: this is a very real problem for the gaming community. Many years ago, gamers bought games for the PlayStation 2, and when they played these games, they were complete in every sense of the word; there was no need to purchase additional content. Flash-forward to now, when gamers buy games, there are always concerns of having to buy additional content because, despite the game being released to the public, the games are not always complete. The DLC issue has created things like the season pass: Star Wars Battlefront is the game that best highlights this shortcoming. Gamers adamantly purchased it, thinking that they were set to enjoy some vibrant graphics and engaging gameplay; these hopes were dashed when they realized that there was an additional $50 season pass necessary to experience the full game. Why do developers feel the need to charge consumers additional money for DLC even after purchasing their original content? Over the course of many years, gaming has transformed in many ways, both positive and negative. Nobody knows what the future holds, but with so many people having access to various consoles internationally, one can definitely conceive of immanent solutions for the issues of modernday gaming.

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S C IE NC E O N TH E TU B E Michael Chachura, Contributor When you’re online looking for a funny cat video or the latest Carpool Karaoke, which website do you most likely use? YouTube, of course. The site promotes a wide variety of subjects, and offers videos on almost every topic imaginable. For that reason, many students turn to YouTube to watch videos relating to science and technology. One YouTube Channel that is popular among UTSC students is SciShow. SciShow is run by Hank Green, one half of the “Vlog Brothers”; a duo consisting of Hank and John Green. Together the brothers have achieved many notable things across the media platform, including having been part of the organization team responsible for VidCon, a convention for YouTubers. One of Hank Green’s notable achievements was an interview he did with President Obama in the White House alongside other YouTubers. John Green is commonly known as the author of the popular books-turned-movies The Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns, to name two. One of his greatest YouTube moments was made when he participated in a live stream with President Obama and other YouTubers. Hank, aged 36, pilots SciShow, which has over 3.9 million subscribers and over 575 million views. Rammya Ilankannan, a third-year major in French and mental health studies and a minor in biology, enjoys the channel because it makes grasping complicated scientific concepts something achievable to all: “SciShow is awesome because they present interesting findings in a way that most people can understand; not only those who have extensively studied similar material.” Yet another science and technology based channel on YouTube is called ‘Verita-

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sium.’ The name of the channel is a play on the phrase “element of truth,” which comes from the Latin word “veritas” meaning truth, and “ium,” the suffix of common elements. Created and hosted by Derek Muller, this YouTube channel has over three million subscribers, and over 300 million views. Students at UTSC find the channel interesting because of the way content is curated. Second-year statistics specialist Shrijan Rajkarnikar says, “The way Veritasium presents content really interests me. I watch his channel occasionally. He doesn’t post very often, but when he does I watch.” Muller was raised in Vancouver and graduated from Queen’s University with a PhD in physics. The unique style of his videos is informative and simple, and many of his videos have gone viral, attracting the attention of mainstream media outlets. In Sept. 2011, the Toronto Star wrote an article about a video he made about deconstructing the movement of a slinky. Veritasium provides coverage on a wide variety of subjects and so students turn to the channel to acquire a general idea of topics of interest. Once again, Rajkarnikar shares that Veritasium “Videos do not help me with any particular subject. I watch it mainly because the content is very interesting.” Steering away from Veritasium’s more serious style, Ayushi Bansal, a fourthyear psychology specialist, prefers YouTuber Grant Thompson, also known as the King of Random. “He does some real random science experiments,” Bansal says. Thompson, a 40-year-old father of three, who was born in Canada, has over seven million subscribers. In his profile bio, he describes his channel as a place where he makes weekly videos, “Dedicated to exploring life through all kinds of life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects.” His videos include experiments like

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flushing sodium down a toilet, which has 3.4 million views, and tutorials on how to make a palm leaf headband, which has 697 thousand views. Thompson’s videos have surely attracted attention from those that are looking for some excitement. Ayushi Bansal also expresses her appreciation for more serious science YouTubers such as ASAP Science, a popular channel with 5.9 million subscribers and 678 million views, total. The channel is run by two Canadians: Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown. The couple, who met at Guelph University during their undergraduate degrees, has a unique and simple method to how they choose to present content. They use a whiteboard to illustrate their narrations, thus catering to several different ways that viewers grasp information being given to them. Bansal states that she believes that ASAP Science’s method of content presentation is great for boosting the self-esteem of viewers: “When you dumb science down, it makes you feel smarter.” One of their most popular videos is called, “What if all the ice melted on the earth?” It features Bill Nye the Science Guy, and has over 3.7 million views. Their videos tend to explore concepts such as, “What if the world went vegetarian,” and, “Why are teens so moody?” Bansal explained that some of their videos helped her with a UTSC psych class called Brain and Behaviour: “They (the videos) explain the physiological bases of many psych disorders.” However you choose to spend your downtime, YouTube can certainly be a very entertaining option. For viewers looking for educational content, it is becoming host to a platform that provides accessible information to all, which caters to a wide variety of subjects and interests in the world of science and technology. So next time you are on YouTube and not watching a cat video, learn a little something about science and technology.

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SCIE NCE & T EC H 29 ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

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30 S C I E N C E & T EC H RACHEL CHIN / THE UNDERGROUND

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SCIE NCE & T EC H 3 1

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE 2K17:

OR EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS YEAR’S FLU Jade Acuña, Contributor It’s happened to everyone at least once before: you wake up and it feels as if someone is drilling away inside your skull. You try to think of a coherent thought, but alas nothing. You try to open your eyes and oh, right, there’s that wonderful flaky green gunk sealing them shut nice and tight. If you move your tongue, you feel the blissful sensation of sandpaper scraping across the roof of your mouth. Do you remember how to climb out of bed? Good luck doing that when the room’s spinning like a ride at Canada’s Wonderland. Your legs are immobile: lie back down, fool. No, you’re not dying… You’re sick with the annual case of seasonal flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are key symptoms for this season’s flu: - Fever* or feeling feverish/chills - Cough - Sore throat - Runny or stuffy nose - Muscle or body aches - Headaches - Fatigue (tiredness)

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* “It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.” (Note: “Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.”) Now that we’ve established that this ailment won’t turn you into an extra for the The Walking Dead, how do we differentiate between influenza and the common cold? Thankfully, the CDC created a chart contrasting the symptoms of both illnesses. The biggest difference is that, with the common cold, you’ll sense the slow decline in your health as you begin coughing and sniffling; take note that your phlegm is probably a lovely green colour. Apart from that, there’s the odd fever, a sore throat, and some mild pain, but nothing that’s too hard to handle. You’ll be up and running again in no time! On the other hand, with the flu, one day you’re chilling out with your squad, and the next day, even watching Netflix is too painful. Calm down, the only chill you’ll be getting is in your bones. You get stuck with a fever and feel like Dumbo’s sitting on your chest. Instead of hacking away at the mountain of readings you have to do, you’ll be hacking and coughing as you struggle to even scroll through your Facebook feed on mobile. The good news with the flu is that, according to the CDC, most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks. So while you may be bedridden for a little while, you should be ready to finally stop procrastinating and start on that essay (or maybe later). However, there is a potentially deadly downside to all of this. Not all of us are immune, and some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening. What’s more is that, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. Additionally, the flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu. So, for those of you who experience any of the above issues, or are prone to any of them, you should consult your doctor right away if you contract the

JANUARY 5 - FEBRUARY 1, 2017

yearly flu. If you experience any of these, call 911 immediately: - Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath - Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen - Sudden dizziness - Confusion - Severe or persistent vomiting - Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough There are probably some of you who are considering getting the vaccination against the flu: who could blame you? However, the vaccine is based off of a strand of last year’s virus, and according to LiveScience, typically, the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine depend upon several factors, including how well the flu strains in the vaccine match the strains in circulation. They state that those who get the vaccine are proven to be about 60 per cent less likely to contract the flu when the strands are similar; however, it varies from year to year as well as depending on the general health of the individual. So, should you get the vaccine? That decision is up to you. In the meantime, the CDC recommends the following ways to keep yourself safe during this turbulent flu season: - Try to avoid close contact with sick people. - While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a feverreducing medicine). - Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. - Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. - Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. - Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. - Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. And above all else, take care of yourselves. After all, somebody’s gotta ward the zombies off when the apocalypse hits.

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 05


3 2 S C I E N C E & T EC H ELIZABETH LIU / THE UNDERGROUND

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JANUARY 5 - FEBRUARY 1, 2017

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 05


SCIE NCE & T EC H 3 3

SUSTAINABILITY CORNER:

17 ECO-FRIENDLY RESOLUTIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE 2017 Taylor Lambie, Sooyeon Lee, Nikhil Toleti, Contributors “New Year, New You”: We’re sure you have heard that line countless times before. Every year, we all make numerous resolutions, be it to exercise more, eat healthier or spend less money; however, this New Year, we at the Sustainability Office encourage you to be a more sustainable student! Being sustainable isn’t hard at all; in fact, it can benefit you in many ways. Check out our 17 eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions for 2017! 1. Write on both sides of the paper when taking notes. It would be even better to write your notes electronically, but if you prefer a paper and pen, writing on both sides of the paper can reduce the amount of paper you use, and as a result save you money. 2. Place multiple slides on a page when you print your notes and readings. Again, it would be better to have your notes and readings electronically, but if you prefer a hard copy, printing multiple slides on a page double-sided will reduce the paper you use and the cost of printing. Remember to recycle your paper once you are done with it! 3. Bring a reusable mug for your beverages Reduce the amount of paper cups you waste by bringing your own travel mug from home. Plus, some coffee shops offer discounts for bringing your own mug like the Lug-a-Mug program at UTSC. So, eventually you will be able to get back the money you spent on the mug through these discounts. 4. Bring reusable bags when shopping. Did you know that most grocery stores charge $0.05 for plastic bags? By reusing plastic bags and using reusable bags, you will save yourself money and reduce waste by reusing what you already have. 5. Bike or walk to nearby places. When you are travelling short distances, try to walk or bike to your destination. This can

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benefit your health as well as save you money on transit! In turn, you won’t have to register for that gym pass you mean to use but never do, whilst enjoying the outdoors more often! 6. Carpool. Carpooling with people going to the same destination can save you money, especially if you split the cost of gas. This can also make your journey less lonely and boring! 7. Take shorter showers. Taking shorter showers saves a lot of water! Doing so will not only save you money on your water bills, but it will also save you some valuable time. You can also be water wise by shutting the tap off when brushing your teeth. 8. Use homemade cleaners. Did you know that most all-purpose cleaners contain many toxic ingredients? You can easily make your own non-toxic version, that gives you the same results, all with ingredients you can find in your kitchen! Pour ½ cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a spray bottle: fill it up with water, give it a good shake, and there you have it! Your very own homemade all purpose cleaner! You can also add lemon or essential oils to give it a refreshing scent. 9. Use cold water for laundry. Most laundry detergents are designed to work in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water also saves your clothes from decolouring and helps them maintain their original shape. 10. Use a drying rack instead of a dryer. Using a drying rack will take away your worries about your clothes shrinking and decrease the numbers on your electricity bill. An added bonus is that you don’t have to constantly use dryer sheets and deal with lint everywhere. 11. Use a rag when cleaning instead of paper towel. Cleaning can be a mess when you have to use a lot of paper towels. It results in more garbage and more money spent on buying paper towels. Rags are more durable when you are tackling a tough mess.

JANUARY 5 - FEBRUARY 1, 2017

12. Reducing meat consumption. According to an article published in The Guardian, producing one kilogram of beef uses an estimated 15,000 liters of water, compared to 290 liters of water used to produce one kilogram of potatoes. By consuming less meat, you can save water, your finances, and your health. You can start off by having meatless Mondays! 13. Eat less processed food. In need of a quick and easy meal during your busy days? While reaching for a processed meal such as take out or frozen food may be simple, it is not good for your health and tends to come in an unnecessary amount of packaging. An alternative is to make extra food when you cook and freeze the leftovers for a quick delicious meal, even when you are short on time. 14. Unplug chargers when you are done with them. Overcharging your electronic devices damages the battery and shortens your tech’s life. Unplug chargers to avoid overcharging and save electricity. 15. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. It is as simple as one click to begin saving electricity. It will save you money on electricity bills and ensure that you’re buying light bulbs less often. 16. Practice better waste management. Start composting and recycling! Try to find out where everything you discard goes. If you don’t know, ask the Waste Wizard on the City of Toronto website! 17. Minimize food waste. Know how much you will realistically eat when going grocery shopping and only buy that much; not only will you save money, but you will reduce your food waste. We challenge you to consider picking at least one of these as your New Year’s resolution in 2017. We wish you a very happy and sustainable New Year!

VOLUME 36, ISSUE 05


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