Week of June 11-18, 2001
Asleep at the controls?
A report by the Globe and Mail on fatigue in the transportation industry suggests there is reason for concern. It cites an unscientific survey posted on the Internet that found the majority of airline pilots have fallen asleep at least once while on duty. SFU kinesiologist Hal Weinberg studies the effects of fatigue on airline workers. He and fellow researchers in his brain behavior lab have completed studies for Transport Canada on air traffic controllers and military pilots flying into Zagreb. They are currently studying the effects of jet lag on commercial airline pilots who make long-haul flights on Canada 3000.
Hal Weinberg, 291-3355, 291-6593; email@example.com
New environmental book causes stir
How bad off is the world? Its better than many think, claims the author of a controversial new book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. Bjorn Lomborg, a professor of statistics at Denmark's University of Aarhus and a former member of Greenpeace, says nearly every grim prediction environmentalists have made about the Earth's future is wrong. Among his claims: Canada's temperate forests are expanding and the world's species are not disappearing at the alarming rates suggested by animal welfare groups. SFU biologist Mark Winston, who researches and writes on environmental issues, including the role of research, can look at the arguments on both sides of the environmental debate and the impact of the book, expected to be released in North America this summer.
Mark Winston, 291-4459; firstname.lastname@example.org
The ups and downs of gasing up
With all the news about the demand for oil exceeding its supply and driving gas prices up, many drivers are no doubt wondering whats putting current prices on a roller coaster. SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith says rapidly fluctuating gas prices are a sure sign of inventory problems at competing gas companies. "Now that the bus strike and high gas prices have prompted more people to carpool or park their vehicles, gas stations have an oversupply of gas on hand," says Meredith. "Given that gas has a short shelf life, gas companies are looking for ways to lower their inventory and a quick, short term
drop in prices is the way they do it." Meredith can elaborate on the consequences of this marketing approach.
Lindsay Meredith, 291-3653, email@example.com
Eye on interpreters
A made-for-television documentary film that chronicles the fast-paced world of international interpreters is about to be unveiled. The Interpreters, an SFU production, was shot on location in China and also documents the renowned SFU advanced Chinese interpreter program. The film highlights how students are trained during the eight-month program and follows graduates as they put their skills to work. Program director Bill Liu says the concept began as a way to look at what graduates are doing. "These students become bridges between Canada and Chinese-speaking countries," says Liu, who has directed the program since its inception in 1987. "They work in the shadows, yet they are key factors in two sides being able to communicate." Liu says the film traces the work of interpreters at the recent Team Canada trade mission, where one program graduate helped Canada in the signing of several deals. It also traces graduates working in the livestock business in Inner Mongolia, in telecommunications in Guangzhou and management consulting in Taipei. The premiere screening of the film takes place on Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
Bill Liu, 291-5091