Media Bytes

March 23, 2006

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A compendium of condensed articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.

65 means freedom to start new career
Globe and Mail, March 15

The concept of retirement was redefined by more than 5,000 Canadians who completed a survey conducted for BMO by the polling firm Ipsos-Reid. The respondents, aged 45 and older with at least $25,000 in financial assets, have a variety of reasons for working past the age of 65. They include remaining mentally active, staying in touch with people and earning money. The average retirement age in Canada is between 62 and 63, but with the elimination of mandatory retirement at age 65, this could provide new opportunities for those who want to stay in the work force. However, SFU public policy professor John Kesselman says the end of mandatory retirement "will not mean the end of potential age discrimination in the hiring of individuals for new positions."

Police arrest man for theft of shoes
Victoria Times Colonist, March 14

Burnaby RCMP recently arrested a Richmond man suspected of stealing women's pink and white shoes. The shoe thief apparently approached women, at times in an abrupt and violent manner, and demanded their footwear. According to psychology professor Steve Hart, shoe-foot fetishes will "occasionally lead people to criminal acts." He adds, "The fetish is about sexual gratification. Often times these guys will take a shoe and smell it, which gives them sexual arousal."

Fewer women in top management jobs
CBC News, March 8

A new report from Statistics Canada indicates a decline in the number of women in top management positions. In senior management positions, there is a five per cent drop in the past decade, down from 27 per cent to 22 per cent. SFU business professor Mark Wexler says it's not a surprising statistic, given that the number of women on boards of directors is also diminishing or staying level. "One might blame this on a growing resistance and a return to the status quo. My sense is that it is premature to do that, but any small statistical position does allow one to theorize that this might be a retrenchment and a return to the old boys school." Wexler has other possible explanations including a declining number of overall management positions and more women leaving the corporate world to start their own businesses.

Magic won't play disappearing act
Ottawa Citizen, March 4

We continue to be amazed by magicians and wonder how they complete their mysterious acts. Magicians are extremely protective of their secrets - so much so that staff must sign non-disclosure agreements. There are varying theories as to why we enjoy their shows, but whether it is the temporary escape from reality or a need to dream depends on individuals and their interest in the secrecy of magic. According to SFU psychology professor Barry Beyerstein, the explanation for a magic trick is almost always something of an anticlimax. "When you see how they did it," he says, "it's so, so simple. The brilliance is in the setup and inviting the inference on the part of the watcher, and using their own smarts against them."

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