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SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

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A look at how Simon Fraser University and its people made news: Jan. 8-15, 2010

A big week for stories on the move of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts to the Woodward’s development on Hastings Street in Vancouver.
First, there were three stories in The Vancouver Sun, with headlines including this gem: “Something wonderful blooms on Hastings”.
Then there were stories in the Globe and Mail, The Province, and the Vancouver Courier.
And SFU Contemporary Arts ran a special supplement in The Vancouver Sun.
More on all this below.

HAITI EARTHQUAKE

  • Canwest News Service quoted Peter Anderson, SFU Communication prof, on the long-lasting impact of the devastating Haiti earthquake:
    "On the social side, families will be displaced for a long period of time. The housing situation will probably take years to address. Communications underpins pretty well all of the human activities that are under way there.  The aid agencies, the government and the communities, the biggest problem they're going to be faced with is the difficulties of even getting those existing [communications] systems to inter-operate."
    Canwest noted Anderson recently returned from Sri Lanka, where he was helping to build community-based communications networks, a project still under way more than five years after the tsunami of 2004.
  • In a separate story, Canwest News Service quoted John Clague, SFU geologist and natural hazards expert, on the causes of the Haiti quake.
    "It's a perfect storm in terms of what can happen. It's like Haiti is caught in this vise, this shear between these two (tectonic) plates. It is a known active fault and there have been published warnings." And, he said, geology, poverty and poor construction combined to create the worst outcome possible.
    Clague was also in the Globe and Mail, saying it will be at least a decade before scientists get close to an early warning system for quakes, if they ever do: "My gut feeling is that earthquakes are a bit idiosyncratic. One earthquake is not going to behave the same as the next one."
    And he held out little hope for using animals as earthquake predictors: "They are not reliable. . . . Prior to many earthquakes, animals don't behave strangely at all."
  • The Province quoted Clague on BC quake risks, in a story linked to the Haiti earthquake:
    "The biggest threat in my mind would be  . . . smaller, but very, very damaging crustal earthquakes. The trouble is we continue to grow and more and more people continue to live here. . . . So what that means is the risk is getting higher with time.
    You're going to have people that die, you're going to have people that are injured, but the big story is the economic loss. It's a bit like a bomb. If you're really close to the source you're going to sustain the most damage. If it happened to occur 10 km down in the earth under Vancouver or Victoria it would be a huge disaster. It could cost $100 billion.”
    But, he added on GlobalTV: "The loss of life would be far less, because of our infrastructure (and building codes)."
  • CBC News reported on a number of BC people who were trying to contact friends and relatives in Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake. Among them was PhD student Stuart Hammond, SFU Psychology, who had just returned from Haiti. He was trying to reach a friend who was volunteering at a pregnancy clinic near the quake's epicentre.  Hammond then got a long string of media calls (and eventually did track down his friend, safe but slightly injured.)

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Two SFU researchers were on CBC Radio's flagship current affairs program, The Current.
    • Program host Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed Catherine Murray, SFU communications prof and chair of SFU’s recently renamed womens’ studies department, now the department of gender, sexuality and women’s studies. Said Murray: “We decided we really wanted to look at the intersections of gender, sexuality and women’s studies. We also believe its very important to attract new students from different cultures and want to attract more men to the study as well.”
    • Sociologist Chris Atchison painted on The Current a different picture of johns—men who buy sex—compared to conventional media portraits. Atchison said his new study, Johns' Voice, shows most johns would never hurt a prostitute. Atchison’s study sparked a flurry of media coverage, including GlobalTV, the Vancouver Courier, Metro News and the Georgia Straight.
  • Political scientist Andrew Heard wrote a guest column in the Globe and Mail, lashing the prime minister for proroguing Parliament, and saying the House itself should make such decisions.
    “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has riled many Canadians with his second suspension of Parliament in a year. On both occasions, the Prime Minister has shuttered Parliament in order to prevent our elected representatives from doing their most fundamental job of holding the government to account. Such manoeuvring is anti-democratic and demonstrates that it is time . . . to change the rules and stipulate that no prime minister can advise the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament without a vote to do so in the House of Commons.”
  • The Canadian Press also quoted Heard in a national story: “Up until the 1980s, there would be three or four sessions in every Parliament. In the '80s and '90s most of the majority governments only had two sessions . . . but a couple had three or four. Things have been different in minority governments. All the minority governments since the ‘60s have had sessions that only lasted just over a year.”
  • There was extensive national coverage this week of the funeral in Vancouver for Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. “The 35-year-old award-winning reporter was the first Canadian journalist to be killed while covering the war in Afghanistan. Lang, who was from Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University, was two weeks into a six-week assignment for Canwest News Service when she died.”
  • André Gerolymatos, chair of SFU Hellenic Studies and an expert on terrorism, was in national stories on plans for full-body scanners at 44 Canadian airports: “It will be a very massive invasion of one's privacy. People are going to step up to those machines and they'll be rendered stark naked.”
  • A Canadian Press story added: “Gerolymatos predicts terrorists will find ways of circumventing full-body scans.  . . . Rather than rely on technology, he said, it would be more effective to hone the skills of airport security staff who ask questions and observe passengers' behaviour.”
    We saw versions of the story on CTV, in some of the Toronto Sun group newspapers, and in the Quesnel Cariboo Observer.
  • Gerolymatos was also in a Canwest News Service story on the apparent disappearance (and later rediscovery) of two tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer and also an ingredient for a powerful explosive. “The amount is quite large. If you detonate 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate it would make for one heck of an explosion.”
    The 2010 Olympic Winter Games could be a target for terrorists, Gerolymatos added. “Any large event that attracts world media is a potential target for terrorists."
  • Gerolymatos was also on CTV News and CKNW after a U.S. state department warning that Vancouver is at risk for potential attacks by terrorists during the Olympics. It suggested Al-Qaida could be a threat to ships, large office buildings, embassies and even hotels. Americans were warned to be vigilant, too, in parks, train stations and churches.
  • The London (ON) Free Press carried a column critical of statistics cited by London’s police chief. It quoted SFU criminologist Liz Elliott: “Crime rates are actually a recording of police reporting practices. So in a weird way, the more police you have, the more crime they report and the higher the crime rate."

BC NEWS

  • Business prof Andrey Pavlov was in a Vancouver Sun story on new-and-increased TransLink tax on parking. “A tax on parking is a very inefficient way to reduce congestion and pollution and interferes with the ability of the city to function, stagnating economic activity in unpredictable and substantial ways."
    A Province story on the tax quoted Brad Dejersey, 22, an SFU student. “’That's a lot,’ he said of the 21-per-cent parking tax. ‘I usually get on the bus. I'm only doing it (driving and parking) because I'm not here for long.’"
  • The Province reported on the launch by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business of “Red Tape Awareness Week”.  “Jonathan Kesselman, a public finance expert at Simon Fraser University, says concerns over the burden of regulation are nothing new for businesses.
    “’From the perspective of the public, the issue is how to balance the costs of regulation against the benefits of the regulation. . . . Regulations that we have in place originated with some desirable purpose. Perhaps some need to be reviewed. But in many cases, the original purpose is one we still hold dear to us.’"
  • The Tri-City News looked at the threat to the local bird population as natural habitat is wiped out by development. It quoted SFU biologist (and bird-watcher) John Reynolds: "There is a lot of pressure on wild habitats. Clearance of one forest for a housing development may not make a big overall impact but if you accumulate these changes, this is bound to be having an impact."
  • The Burnaby NewsLeader told readers that many local francophones were angry that the City of Burnaby's 2010 trash collection schedule is available in a number of languages—but not French. The paper quoted Nicolas Kenny, a bilingual assistant history prof at SFU:
    "It might seem like a little thing—trash collection—but it just adds to that feeling of dissatisfaction that is out there. When Burnaby [translates documents], they're showing they're sensitive to the cultural diversity within their city. And I think it would be appropriate, for sure, that French be included, given its official status in Canada and its long history in the province.”
  • Host Rick Cluff on the Early Edition show on CBC Radio promoted the SFU Philosophers’ Café’s discussion this week of the ethics of health care recruitment in the Philippines. Cluff interviewed SFU’s Jeremy Snyder, philosophy/health sciences prof. Snyder said the massive migration of Philippine caregivers to Canada raises a moral question because it is creating a huge vacuum of knowledge in the Philippines.
  • SFU Communication prof Richard Smith was on CBC Radio, talking about electronic books, and was also interviewed by 24Hours on how to reach people during Olympic restrictions, using social media/mobile phones.
  • A story in the VancouverObserver.com looked at prof Diane Gromala’s creation of a Virtual Meditative Walk program, which combines a Virtual Reality headset with a treadmill to train chronic pain sufferers to meditate while being physically active.
    “‘Clinical studies,’ Gromala says, ‘show that meditation reduces chronic pain, stress, anxiety and improves our immune systems. Studies also prove that Virtual Reality is an ideal training method, and is more effective than opiates in reducing pain.’”
  • The Vancouver Sun told readers that RCMP are moving to prevent the Red Scorpions and other gangs from moving into Nanaimo turf that was dominated by the Hells Angels a few years ago. Rob Gordon, director of SFU Criminology, said: “Competitors have arrived and they're busy trading in the area and that suggests the capacity of the group that used to dominate it, the folks who had a monopoly, has been diminished quite significantly."
    The Nanaimo Daily News and Nanaimo Harbour City Star picked up the story.
  • TheTyee.ca news-and-commentary website carried a feature on the revival of traditional First Nations foods, including the wapato, a tuber found in the muck of the Fraser River and its sloughs. “(Archaeologist) Terry Spurgeon, who studied wapato at Simon Fraser University, visited the Katzie to show where wapato were still growing.  . . .  Throughout the Fraser River lowlands, wapato habitat has been steadily lost as wetlands are diked, drained, dredged, or otherwise altered. Meanwhile, table potatoes replaced wapato tubers in First Nations diets.”

SFU at WOODWARD’S

  • The Vancouver Sun’s lead-off story on the move of SFU Contemporary Arts to Woodward’s began with this:
    “At the heart of the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University's bold new downtown campus in the Woodward's complex, sits the boldest thing of all—the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre.” The story went on to quote Milton Wong:
    “The former SFU chancellor credits current university president Michael Stevenson for shepherding the school's move into Canada's most troubled neighbourhood.  ‘It takes vision,’ Wong says, ‘to go into one of the most deplorable areas and go, ‘Hey, we should send our institution down there because it's the best way of revitalizing the Downtown Eastside.”
    The story continued: “Wong and his wife donated $3 million to the school and were honoured with having their name appear on a truly revolutionary multidisciplinary venue. State-of-the-art doesn't begin to describe how this three-storey black-box theatre has been configured to make it infinitely adaptable and then equipped with the latest in technological bells and whistles.”
  • A second Vancouver Sun story (the one with the headline “Something wonderful blooms on Hastings”) began this way:
    “Coordinated chaos is the order of the day at the new downtown campus of Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts. In a scramble to meet looming deadlines for completion of key components of the new building at the north end of the Woodward's complex, construction workers have very few working days left to finish a mountain of tasks.
    “That's appropriate, given the school's move off its own mountain in Burnaby. While the Downtown Eastside won't see 1,800 students descend on the neighbourhood until September, many of the facilities must be ready for such looming events as Jerome Bel's The Show Must Go On (part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival) and Robert Lepage's The Blue Dragon/ Le Dragon Bleu (part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad).
    “A recent hard-hat tour certainly proved the necessity of hard-hats, with no shortage of hazards on offer, but there's also plenty of evidence that something wonderful is about to bloom on Hastings Street. Not only will students in dance, theatre, music, film and other disciplines be taking a huge leap forward from the huddle of huts they populated up on the hill at SFU, but many facets of their new downtown digs will be made available, when possible, to serve communities beyond the school.”
  • And a third Sun story listed some numbers, including: "The facility of 125,000 square feet (more than 11,000 square metres) will include the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre . . .  two studio theatres  . . . the World Art Performance Studio . . .  a 350-seat cinema/lecture hall . . .  a teaching gallery . . . a film sound stage . . .  a film classroom and two 25-seat screening rooms . . . three additional dance studios . . . two additional theatre studios . . . a principal music teaching studio . . .  two visual art and interdisciplinary studios . . .  two computer teaching labs and numerous smaller computer-based editing and composing suites."  And more....
    Canwest News Service sent the three stories to clients across the country.
  • The next day, a fourth Vancouver Sun story heralded the opening next week of The Show Must Go On, by Jerome Bel, at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. “SFU liked the idea of a soft opening of the theatre for PuSh before Robert Lepage's The Blue Dragon officially opens the theatre for the Cultural Olympiad next month.”
  • The Globe and Mail quoted professor-composer Owen Underhill, who is managing the move to Woodward’s for SFU Contemporary Arts: “It's a cutting-edge school that's involved with innovative artwork. It's still in some ways a well-kept secret, and I think moving into Woodward's is going to change that quite dramatically.”
    The story also quoted Michael Boucher, director of cultural programs and partnerships for the inaugural program at SFU Woodward's: “It's kind of my dream that this becomes a hotbed not only locally but also internationally. If we can turn this into a Brooklyn Academy of Music or Cal Theatre (at the University of California, Berkeley), that would be fantastic.”
  • The Vancouver Courier also interviewed Underhill. “The School for the Contemporary Arts has been up on Burnaby Mountain in temporary facilities for the past 30 years or so. This is our opportunity to bring the dance and film and music and theatre and visual art and art and culture programs altogether, so it will be an exciting facility for our students and for the public in terms of the synergies between the different art forms."
  • The Province talked to Martin Gotfrit, director of SFU Contemporary Arts: “We've been waiting for a building for 30 years. The building itself is very porous. To walk into the plaza from Hastings Street you have to walk through our lobby. We hope there'll be a sense of people feeling welcome."
    The Province also quoted Boucher: “The city needs more venues and this building addresses that need. When you have a venue with multiple studios in it, a state of the art theatre, it allows for smaller companies to step up. We're looking at ways to make it workable and affordable to well-recognized smaller and mid-sized companies to come in and use this space, animate it."
  • Sadly, though, the Globe and Mail earlier reported:It wasn't the best welcome to the neighbourhood. The first work of art to be installed by the Audain Gallery at SFU Woodward's in the Downtown Eastside has been vandalized, days after it was installed.
    I Said No by Vancouver artist Ken Lum was hanging in the window outside the gallery on Hastings Street when one of the panels in the text-based work, which was installed Dec. 30, was partly ripped off. The gallery's curator, Sabine Bitter, says the incident does not give her second thoughts about opening a gallery in the Downtown Eastside. She has ordered a new panel and says it will be reinstalled as soon as possible.”
  • On a more positive note, the Globe and Mail gave an advance plug to Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon, which runs Feb. 2-27 at SFU Woodward’s. The Globe, in a list of “10 shows you don't want to miss”, said:
    “Renowned Quebec playwright, actor and director Robert Lepage's sequel to his 1985 play The Dragons' Trilogy has resonated with audiences and impressed critics (Globe theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck gave its National Arts Centre production 3½ stars last year).  . . . SFU Woodward's, Feb. 2 to Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. with some 2 p.m. matinees (performances Feb. 2 and 3 in French; the rest in English).
  • SFU Contemporary Arts ran a six-page “special information supplement” in The Vancouver Sun on Jan. 13. “SFU’s involvement in the Woodward’s site reflects the university’s deep engagement in the community and its partnership with provincial and local governments, and business and community leaders, in the creation and expansion of its Vancouver campus. SFU is proud to offer a visionary new facility in the new Woodward’s—where its unique strengths will enrich the artistic life of the Downtown Eastside and beyond.”
  • A Los Angeles Times story on Lower Mainland planning and “Vancouverism” mentioned a “contemporary art institute” in the new Woodward’s complex, but did not name SFU. However, it carried a stock photo of the Central City tower in Surrey, home of the Surrey campus: “Vancouver architect Bing Thom, a Hong Kong immigrant, sent in a team that punched out the roof and perched a new campus of Simon Fraser University on top. The mall and the school are connected by walls of glass, an intricate structure of vaulted wood and a giant atrium.”

EDUCATION

  • Jane Friesen, associate professor of economics and director of SFU’s Centre for Education Research and Policy (CERP), wrote a guest column for The Vancouver Sun on the provincial Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests in schools, which are widely opposed by the BC Teachers Federation.
    “While individual and classroom-level test scores are not reliable guides to student achievement—and teachers rightly claim that they have better ways of assessing individual student progress on a day-to-day basis—district-level test scores can be informative. . . . We're working hard to turn the information we get from FSA tests into knowledge about how to make B.C.'s education system the best it can be for all students.”
  • Friesen was also in a Vancouver Sun story that reported Chinese-speaking parents are more likely than others to transfer their children out of elementary schools that ranked poorly in the Fraser Institute's controversial report card. This according to a study by SFU’s CERP. Friesen was the principal author. The Victoria Times-Colonist picked up the story. OmniTV interviewed Friesen for its Chinese-Canadian audience. FairchildTV and others pursued her as well.
  • The Financial Post section of National Post featured the growth of business competitions for business students. Among other things, the story said:
    Simon Fraser University's Student Affairs office lists several reasons students should go for it: ‘Receive in-depth coaching on Business Plans/ Case Analysis and Presentation Skills; gain the confidence and skills to analyze and solve real life business problems and plans under pressure; have direct experiences that will be a major strength on your resume; travel within Canada, the USA, or overseas with all expenses covered; learn to be a team player and make life long friends; network with university students across Canada and around the world; and most importantly . . . have the time of your life!"
  • Patrick Keeney, adjunct prof in SFU Education, wrote in the Edmonton Journal book pages a review of Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market, by Howard Woodhouse (McGill-Queen's University Press).
    “In this impassioned book, Howard Woodhouse, a professor of educational foundations at the University of Saskatchewan, argues that Canadian universities have undergone a paradigm shift: Far from being a bastion of disinterested scholarship, they have become an extension of the corporate world. In the author's formulation, ‘the goal of the university is no longer the critical pursuit of knowledge, but, rather, the maximization of stockholder value.’"

ATHLETICS

  • The Clan women’s basketball team women defeated the University of Alberta 76-65 and the University of Saskatchewan 67-58. Those were the Clan’s record 47th and 48th straight victories. The women host Trinity Western University in SFU’s West Gym on Saturday Jan. 16, 7pm.
  • The Vancouver Sun, in an advance story on Saturday’s game, quoted head coach Bruce Langford: “I never talk about it (a 49th win). As a matter of fact, we don't talk much about winning at all. For us, it's about the process and how we're playing. . . . I find it crazy we can be leading the country in field-goal percentage [48.0] but we're 28th in free-throw shooting [66.9 per cent]."
  • SFU’s men’s basketball team beat Alberta 84-80 but then lost 102-81 to Saskatchewan. The team is at home tonight (7pm) and Saturday night (5pm) against Trinity Western.
  • The Clan volleyball women lost twice to Brandon University, 3-1 and 3-1.  They face the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg tonight and Saturday.
  • The Clan women’s wrestling team finished second at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Duals, in Iowa. Stacie Anaka, Danielle Lappage, Victoria Anthony and Taylor Dick all went undefeated for SFU.
  • The women’s basketball team announced  the commitment of Newfoundland native Rebecca Langmead to the Clan for the 2010-2011 season. She’s the first recruit announced by Langford as his the team moves from the CIS into the NCAA in 2010-11.
  • Defensive back Anthony DesLauriers of the Clan football team signed a contract through the 2012 season with the Toronto Argonauts. His father Lou also played one season for the Argonauts and is a former CFL All-Star.

Also in sports:

  • Sports media across the country reported on the 2010 induction class for the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. Included are:
    • Lorne Davies, the first director of athletics at SFU (1965-1995). “He was instrumental in designing and implementing Canada's first athletic scholarships, hired full-time coaches for all sports for the first time and established the first national training centres located at a Canadian university."
    • Running back Sean Millington, a star for the SFU Clan before playing 13 CFL seasons, several of them with the BC Lions. He twice won the CFL's outstanding Canadian award.
    • And the 1994 Grey Cup champion Lions, who won the won the game 26-23 against the Baltimore Stallions on a last-second field goal by another ex-SFU star, Lui Passaglia.  (The Stallions were a CFL team based in Baltimore in 1994 and 1995. They became the only American team to win the Grey Cup, in 1995.)

SFU PIPE BAND

  • Burnaby Now gave advance promotion to the SFU Pipe Band’s Robbie Burns dinner and silent auction next Friday, Jan. 22.  (http://www.sfupb.com/store/tickets)
    “The dinner features a Scottish meal, with haggis and roast beef, and musical entertainment by the SFU Pipe Band and the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, which started as the youth branch of the adult band. Both bands have won the World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow, Scotland multiple times. They will be accompanied by the Heather Jolly highland dancers.”
  • The SFU Pipe Band also got a little promotion in the Edmonton Journal. The band plays at the Edmonton Highland Arts Festival next April 9-11.

ALSO in THE NEWS

  • The Vancouver Sun noted the death of Jim Rimmer, designer of the one-of-a-kind typeface of the letters “SFU” on the university’s logo. Rimmer, who died Jan. 8, was Canada’s leading type designer and was the proprietor of Pie Tree Press, New Westminster. He donated to the university the unique design of the SFU branding characters. SFU will host a memorial (details TBA) and “a donation to your favourite charity would have met with Jim's approval.” Rimmer’s papers are in the SFU Library’s special collections.

AND EARLIER . . .

This report on SFU in the news took a vacation break from Dec. 28-Jan. 7. During that period, media stories mentioning SFU included these:

  • André Gerolymatos was in a national CBC News story on airport security measures adopted after a failed terrorist attack on a U.S. plane. “The new security measures are an annoyance. I don't think they're going to be effective. . . . It's a way for the government of the United States to pretend that it's doing something positive and reassure people by making them very uncomfortable. Security, as it stands right now, is not going to deter a determined attempt by a terrorist to get on board an airplane."
    Gerolymatos was also in The Province: “The facts are that dozens more invasive screening machines are never going to stop determined terrorists. Sometimes the most simple methods are the most effective, such as having well-trained people who ask intelligent questions and are taught how to read human behaviour."  And he was in similar stories in The Vancouver Sun and the Surrey-North Delta Leader.
  • There was coverage in many countries of the death in Afghanistan of Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, a grad of SFU English. “Travelling in a light-armoured vehicle, she and four Canadian soldiers—three of them reservists—were killed Wednesday (Dec. 30) by a homemade bomb on what was considered a safe stretch of dirt road on the outskirts of Kandahar City.”
  • The Vancouver Sun reported that the Fraser River did not always flow south and west into the Straight of Georgia. “A new scientific study  . . . says the Fraser most likely found its way up the Rocky Mountain Trench to the Peace River and the Arctic Ocean, although a southerly route is possible via the trench to the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.”  The paper said some of the researchers involved were from SFU, but did not name them.
  • The Globe and Mail took a look at the Woodward’s project:In February, Simon Fraser University will open its massive Centre for the Performing Arts in the project. It includes half a dozen performance or cinema spaces, with a gala launch of theatre director Robert Lepage's The Blue Dragon.”
    The story quoted Nick Blomley, SFU Geography prof and author of Unsettling the City: “It's still a compromise with a massive private component in it. To the extent that there is public space in the building, it is due to community pressure. That does show some success."
  • Political scientist Kennedy Stewart wrote a guest column/blog for The Vancouver Sun: “Two thousand and ten may just be Stephen Harper's year. Where the Conservative leader is slowly moving his party forward, the Liberals seem lost and the NDP out of steam. Harper will likely stay his course as he sits at close to 40 per cent in the polls. If he does, the opposition parties may soon be looking across the chamber at a majority Conservative government unless they embrace radical change needed to break Harper's rhythm.” The column also ran in the Windsor Star.
  • Criminologist Neil Boyd also wrote a guest column/blog for The Vancouver Sun: “Why is it that some young men want to knock other young men unconscious? And why is this perceived as enjoyable entertainment by so many others? Why is it that young men decide to enter the illegal drug trade, armed with handguns, and willing to turn these guns on their adversaries? And finally, and perhaps most important, what can be done to alter the trajectories of young men before they decide to sacrifice their lives to the cause of killing others? If we can begin to answer these questions in a thoughtful and constructive manner, we will be at least a small step further along the road to a more peaceful society.”
  • Burnaby Now spoke at length with political scientist Andy Hira about the war in Afghanistan. “Unless there is a major change in Pakistan's military forces to crack down on the Taliban, I can not see any reason for optimism. We have to hope that in the long-run the international community can push both the Pakistani and Karzai governments in the right direction fast enough to change the increasingly negative momentum of the situation. But  . . . that outcome seems unlikely. The end result could be many more years of chaos in that region and a new generation of terrorists born to fight foreign occupation.”
  • A Pete McMartin column in The Vancouver Sun featured Lillian Zimmerman,  85, a longtime research associate at SFU's Gerontology Research Centre. She was quoted on an Alzheimer Society study that she found “alarmist”.
    Said Zimmerman: "Is it too much to suggest that the media and experts be a bit more balanced? Of course we have to know about looming health problems, but what percentage of the population will not become demented? . . . (The study) shapes a kind of crisis mentality where this is not absolutely required. . . . In terms of diseases, yes, Alzheimer's can be a frightening disease, but we're not all going down the road to dementia."
  • CKNW interviewed Tony Leyland, senior lecturer in SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, re: a new study on vitamin D and cancer. (Not an SFU study but from a doctor at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He says Vitamin D could reduce risk for 17 types of cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and childhood asthma, for only pennies a day.)
  • Burnaby Now told readers: “A new Simon Fraser University-based institute to advance brain-imaging research on an international scale is one of several SFU research projects that received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
    Urs Ribary, SFU's B.C. leadership chair in cognitive neuroscience in early childhood health and development, will head up the new Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Institute, funded by a $500,000 CFI grant. The institute's goal is to better understand the developing human brain, cognitive disabilities and neurological and mental disorders.”
  • The Ottawa Citizen reported that imam Zijad Delic, national executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress, is one of 13 Canadians in a new book listing 500 people the authors describe as the world's most influential Muslims. “Originally from Bosnia, Delic left there in 1995 and moved to Canada. He earned a doctoral degree at Simon Fraser University and also worked in B.C. as an Islamic studies teacher.”

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