SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - April 7, 2011
April 7, 2011
Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations. This daily edition lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Pacific Wednesday April 6 to 9 a.m. Pacific Thursday April 7.
- The Globe and Mail featured the public art project Digital Natives, co-created by SFU English prof Clint Burnham. Marking Vancouver’s 125th birthday, the project puts Twitter-like messages on the electronic billboard next to Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge.
“The billboard—on Squamish Nation land—becomes a venue for artistic and literary exchange between native and non-native communities. (It) displays 10-second text messages created by invited artists and writers, in between beer, car and radio-station ads.
“‘If you lived under this bridge you’d be home by now. #gentrification,’ reads one message. Some have been translated into aboriginal languages including Kwak’wala and Squamish. Mid-month, new messages—some from the public—will be added.
“‘It’s a combination of the poetic and the political,” says writer Clint Burnham, co-curator of the show. ‘It’s reminding people that there’s also a history that’s much older than the city of Vancouver.’”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/SYYfds
- Burnham also wrote about the project on the news-and-commentary website of TheTyee.ca.
“With Digital Natives, we've taken back—temporarily—some visual space in the city for messages from individuals, to display a dialogue from this city and beyond. A more complicated process than I first thought—like the public space we share.
“And why not use public advertizing for direct messages—as well as poetic ones—for messages that encourage a dialogue? Why not take back our spaces, our public spaces?
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/brAiWY
SFU news release: http://at.sfu.ca/bvMtyH
Burnham also appeared on the On the Coast show on CBC Radio, and was interviewed by CTV News.
- Also marking Vancouver’s 125th birthday, SFU historian Nicolas Kenny was on Radio Canada’s national network (RDI):
“Even before the presence of Europeans in the area, there were at least three different Aborignal nations who shared the premises, as it were, and . . . quite distinct from each other, with different customs, different cultures. So, already, it was a meeting place between cultures. While we tend to generalize when talking about Aboriginal people, in fact there was much diversity among them. So there were meetings, weddings, trade. So, even before the arrival of Europeans, it was a city of cultural exchange and intermarriage.”
- Two SFU profs were in a Victoria Times Colonist story about the use of BC government public-affairs staff as actors portraying a doctor, and other roles, in an online video about preventing child abuse.
The NDP criticized the use of Public Affairs Bureau staff, but marketing prof John Peloza said doctors would support the video, so there was no attempt to lend it false credibility. "[It is] probably just an expedient way to get the message done, and as a taxpayer I support that 100 per cent.”
The paper added: “Mark Wexler, a professor of business ethics at Simon Fraser, also considered it a minor deception, since it had no effect on the video's message. But he said the government was ‘sloppy’ for failing to include a disclaimer to clarify that some of the people in the video were actors. ‘Professionals should basically, at the end, have just covered it by suggesting what they've done,’ he said.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/CdhKvK
- The Pique magazine in Whistler interviewed political scientist Patrick Smith on the May 2 federal election:
“I think the equation will stay more or less as it is, but there is a possibility of a breakthrough with a Conservative majority. Right now they're 11 seats shorts of it, and in B.C. there are probably 11 seats in play—and three of them are Conservative. If they can pick up four or five here, another four or five around Toronto and four or five in Newfoundland, which is leaning conservative—and hold on to everything else—they would be at majority status.”
Full story: http://i.sfu.ca/SwjPPy
- The Province asked political scientist Marjorie Griffin Cohen about the chances of Premier Christy Clark calling an early BC election.
“(Cohen) said a spring or fall election would work in favour of Clark's Liberals who are riding the ‘coat tails’ of the federal party's election platform, which shares some similarities to Clark's families-first agenda.
“The fact that the NDP are tied up in a leadership contest, and that the Conservatives started late, also work in Clark's favour, said Cohen. ‘The longer the Conservatives have time to get together, the more threatening that is for her. For the NDP, this will be a scramble, because they are just getting a new leader and she probably wants to take advantage of that before any leaders have a chance to really consolidate their own position."
Full story not yet online.
- Cohen also did an interview with the North Shore News, on the possibility of success for a new campaign by a group in Vancouver that is trying to make excessive internet charges a federal election issue. Cohen’s assessment:
“My sense is that it will be extremely difficult for this to become a national election issue in this election. Often even very large and significant issues (like Canada’s participation in Libya and Afghanistan wars) are not central to election campaign discussions. Issues generally take a great deal of concerted on the part of a wide variety of groups to become issues that are debated in elections.”
Story not yet online.
- The Vancouver Sun ran a guest column from one of Cohen's graduate students, Mo Amir, written as an assignment in his course. (But, sadly, his connection with SFU was not mentioned in the Sun.) Amir wrote:
"Can British Columbia's forestry industry ever learn to diversify its export portfolio? . . .Former forests, mines, and lands minister Pat Bell has done an excellent job in developing the Chinese market. . . . However, export diversification does not end with China. It is time for British Columbia's forestry industry to adopt an overarching strategy of export pluralism."
Full story: http://i.sfu.ca/QryryN
- Student Stewart Wilkinson of the SFU Beedie School of Business was on the Early Edition show on CBC Radio, talking about tonight’s Opportunity Fest at SFU Surrey—and about his own design of a mobile application called Rate My Lot (as in parking lot). It allows users to rate the safety and security of parking lots.
“I was motivated by this: My wife went into a parking lot. She found five cars actually broken into, all at once, and she saw a curious-looking gentleman scuttling off into the darkness, which was a little worrying for her. So that was part of the motivation.”
In Opportunity Fest, student entrepreneurs will showcase their class-produced ventures to the business community and public.
SFU news release: http://i.sfu.ca/sokSZd
- The Canadian University Press news service offered to its 90 members a story on how SFU students and others are developing a new delivery service that will use tricycles to move goods around downtown Vancouver.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/eEXEtE
SFU news release (March 16): http://at.sfu.ca/LjDULg
- Earth scientist Brent Ward was on the multicultural TV station, Omni-TV. He explained (in English on the Cantonese news) how earthquakes can and will occur in BC, and noted:
“You get situations where buildings actually sink down into the ground. If there’s any chance of a landslide, you’ll get landslides occurring towards, say, rivers’ banks. It’s very common in artificial fill where we’ve made land by pushing materials into the water. And it’s also very common in places like Richmond and Delta because the sediments are part of the Fraser River, and they’re very prone to liquefaction.”
- The U.K.-based science website of PhysOrg.com picked up an SFU news release on how an SFU biologist’s fly research “fills out a global tree-of-life map of all living organisms, even though he retired from SFU three years ago.” The release said prof emeritus Andrew Beckenbach is one of 25 international scientists who have plugged gaps in the 250-million-year history of Diptera.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/vlRmXJ
SFU release: http://at.sfu.ca/cuFJLk
- The North Shore Outlook featured “church-planting”, the practice of building a new church in a new community or neighbourhood. In the story was a quote from Don Grayston, prof emeritus of humanities and an Anglican minister.
“‘For example, 40 years ago you’d have a new suburb and a church would buy a piece of land and that would be church planting in a mainline denominational sense,’ says Don Grayston, a retired professor of religion at Simon Fraser University. ‘But the mainline churches are in retrenchment and are not doing any church planting in particular.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/LcKvmq
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