All Posts Tagged With: "University of Saskatchewan"
Saskatchewan biochemist has a theory
If you don’t like gross things, this story is snot for you.
An associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan is trying to get more students interested in science by looking at the health benefits of picking your nose and eating it.
Scott Napper says nature pushes us to do different things because it is to our advantage to have certain behaviours, to consume different types of foods.
Napper says mucous traps germs and stops them from getting into our body, but if we consume that mucous, it could help train our immune system by exposing it to the germs.
What students are talking about today (April 12th)
1. The city council of Kingston, Ont. has been accused of disregarding university students as it redraws electoral boundaries. Council voted that three of the 13 municipal electoral districts near Queen’s University will be merged into two, which means students will be represented by fewer councilors. This is despite a staff report that recommended taking into account the student population, which the city knows exists, even though they’re unlikely to be counted in official tallies that require voters to register themselves. Queen’s Alma Mater Society has expressed disappointment. “The AMS is dismayed by the attitudes that many of the Councillors expressed at the meeting, which reflected an aggressively anti-student attitude that is all too familiar—one which the AMS has been working for a decade to eradicate.”
2. A McGill University professor allegedly harassed a Muslim student from Cairo, an accusation that spread on social media and resulted in protesters chanting, “Hey, hey. Ho, Ho. Racist professors have to go,” outside of his lecture, reports the Gazette. The protest followed a Global News report that included an audio recording student Amr El-Orabi secretly made during a conversation with professor Gary Dunphy before El-Orabi quit school and returned to Egypt. In the recording, Dunphy accuses El-Orabi of cyber-stalking, refers to both the student’s God and his own God in unkind terms, and says, “don’t think for a minute that your culture is the be all and end all.” When El-Orabi asks,”is there anything else that you want from me now?,” Dunphy responds, “your death.”
What students are talking about today (March 15th)
1. At a University of Ottawa Campus Pride event last week, a heterosexual man was told by a former vice-president student affairs of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa that he was wearing too much pink and that he must change his clothes. Cody Boast, a third-year political science student, says he showed up to support the GLBTQ friends when Amy Hammett, the former student politician, approached him. Boast told The Fulcrum Hammet likened it to “dressing up like Bob Marley at a Black History Month event,” and forced him to change. Kate Hudson, the current SFUO vice-president student affairs told The Fulcrum his pink clothes, feather boa and flute, “gave the impression that he was mocking the event.” I don’t see why they think it’s their job to police people’s clothes. Boast is welcome at my pride party this summer wearing whatever he likes.
2. “The University of Waterloo is investigating after an anti-abortion Conservative MP was blocked from delivering a lecture Wednesday night by protesters led by a man dressed as a giant vagina,” reports National Post. You can’t make this stuff up. Stephen Woodworth only made it a third of the way through his talk before it was cancelled. A representative of the university said that the MP will be invited back. What might he have said that was so dangerous? Woodworth believes life begins at conception, not birth. He tried to have Parliament study the definition of the words ‘human being,’ last year, but his motion got 91 votes, though from some high-profile MPs, like Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney supported it.
3. The Queen’s Journal says it’s time to “take the bull’s-eye off [Alexander] Prescott’s back.” On Feb. 25, the representative to the Alma Mater Society caused flurry of outrage after making a Facebook comment saying that some of the onus for sexual assaults should be placed on the victims. This, of course, made some people go ballistic, because they say victims of sexual assault are never in any way to blame. Prescott was censured, despite some calls for impeachment. The Journal thinks that his punishment was fair, but they want him to apologize.
4. Tuition will rise an average of 4.6 per cent at the University of Saskatchewan next year, students learned through an e-mail on Thursday, according to The Sheaf. Tuition accounts for 23 per cent of the university’s operating budget, while 68 per cent comes from the province. Undergraduates across Canada paid an average $5,581 in tuition this year. It was $6,017 in Saskatchewan.
5. Toronto 12-year-old Jorel Hoffert’s music video bar mitzvah invitation has gone viral online, with 115,000 views already after being aired on shows NBC’s Today Show and CBC’s News Now this morning. The video borrows from Queen’s songs “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
What students are talking about today (March 7th)
1. Washington Post has compiled a list of this year’s famous U.S. college commencement speakers. It’s bound to make Canadian students jealous. The speakers include President Obama, Cal Ripken, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers fame) and Drew Houston (the co-founder and CEO of Dropbox). Best of all, the University of Virginia has landed Stephen Colbert for their May 18 graduation. The fake Republican newsman and comedian has done this before. In 2011 he spoke at his alma mater, Northwestern University. Here’s a sample from the full text via the Chicago Sun-Times: “Northwestern’s academic resources are unparallelled. The library contains five million books, and 100,000 periodicals, none of which anyone reads because they’re not on an iPad. Next year I believe Deering Library is being converted to a Chipotle.”
2. Why is it that student politicians so often think it’s their job to limit access to whatever it is they don’t like? Bottled water, for example, has been banned at numerous Canadian campuses because of its environmental impact. I agree that bottled water is bad, so I don’t buy it very often, but the bans do little but force people to buy it off-campus or drink—gasp—Coke. Earlier this week Ryerson’s student union decided to “reject” clubs that believe in misandry, the entirely reasonable concept that, just as some people hate women (misogynists), some people hate men. Today it’s Nicole Tupechka, vice-president student life of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University, who wants to ban something. Well, not quite ban, she says, but “reduce the visibility” of energy drinks on campus. She wants to “encourage good habits” and “set students up for success,” by having fewer machines, she tells The Griff student newspaper. It’s true that energy drinks can be unhealthy, but they’re not exactly heroin. Why not let students decide for themselves?
What students are talking about today (February 28th)
1. Students at McMaster University got creative crossing their slushy Hamilton, Ont. campus after a major winter storm hit Ontario on Tuesday. They paddled across it in a canoe. Someone made a video and posted it to YouTube where it already has 55,000 views and was shown on air by CBC News Network. Meanwhile in Ottawa….
2. Ryerson University student Sarah Santhosh wants to start a men’s issues group on campus called the Ryerson Association for Equality that would discuss mental health, male youth violence, misogyny, as well as gender disadvantages in education, the workplace and custody battles. “Universities are supposed to be places where any and all ideas are accepted and discussed. Nothing should be too taboo for discussion,” she told The Eyeopener. It’s unclear whether the Ryerson Students’ Union will prevent the group from gaining status considering vice president equity, Marwa Hamad, previously said that, “marginalized or underprivileged student members should be the focus of equity service groups on campus.”
What students are talking about today (February 7th)
1. About 1,000 people spoiled their ballots in the recent Carleton University Students’ Association elections, chief electoral officer Sunny Cohen told The Charlatan. Most of the ballots were disqualified because people wrote in more than one place, but more than 100 had penises drawn on them. A “Phallus Your Ballot” Facebook page and instructional video had proposed this act of protest. “If we’re going to elect dicks, we might as well get to draw them,” read the page. Third-year student Sam Corey told The Charlatan he voted for two candidates but drew a phallus on the rest of his ballots because CUSA is too concerned with issues like “safe space.”
2. A fraternity at Duke University threw an Asian-themed party on Friday. The Asian Student Association fought back on Wednesday with a protest after seeing photos of party goers in Japanese kimonos and dressed as sumo-wrestlers. The ASA released the photos but was kind enough to blur faces. Although kimonos and sumo costumes aren’t offensive on their own, The Duke Chronicle reports the party was advertised in an e-mail that started off “Herro Nice Duke Peopre,” a dig at some Asian accents. The frat has apologized.
Collisions are a problem
A research project at the University of Saskatchewan will try to determine why moose feel moved to cross rural highways.
The study starts this month and will track the movements of 50 moose over a four-year period.
Twenty-five of the creatures along Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Regina will be collared with a built-in satellite phone that sends data back to researchers.
The stretch of road is considered a hot spot for collisions between vehicles and moose.
The Environment Ministry asked researchers to study how moose use their habitat and to identify high-risk collision areas.
It’s hoped the data collected will help develop a long-term moose management strategy.
The collars are designed to fall off after 24 months.
“For two full years, we get very detailed locations on exactly where that moose is every day, all day and night,” said Ryan Brook, project director with the Saskatoon university’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources.
He said there were virtually no moose in rural Saskatchewan 40 or 50 years ago, specifically in the central and southern parts of the province. But now they are causing some problems.
“Concerns about crop damage, damage to fences. And quite a number of people have had close calls, serious injuries, and even a number of deaths from collisions with moose.”
Brook is asking hunters to hold off on shooting moose involved in the project. He said animals in the study can be identified by a white collar and two clearly visible ear tags.
“The cost of buying a collar and getting it on the animal and getting the data is about $5,000 per animal, so we’re hoping that if hunters can leave the collared animals alone then we’ll get a lot more useful information.”
What students are talking about today (January 25th)
1. “Alcohol overconsumption = sexual assaults,” Tweeted University of New Brunswick Security last week. Anyone who has followed the issue of sexual assault lately can imagine the indignation that followed. Lee Thomas of The Brunswickan put it this way: most reported sexual assaults have male perpetrators, “so I would expect UNB Security’s “Males = sexual assaults” Tweet any day now.” Except, of course, that would be a crazy generalization. Thomas goes further pointing out that “it’s not the victim’s responsibility to ensure that they don’t get attacked; it’s the rapist’s responsibility to ensure that he or she does not rape.” He’s obviously right that it’s wrong to blame the victim. A better Tweet would have been “Alcohol overconsumption = occasional bad decisions,” although that’s a separate issue.
Saskatchewan cuts millions while former execs get paid
There’s a bit of panic these days at the University of Saskatchewan. Secretaries who gave decades to the school are now boxing up their desks and students are worried about the quality of their programs as the university chops its way out of a budget deficit projected at $44.5-million by 2016.
In November five administrative staff from humanities and fine arts were fired. Then the university announced the closure of a remote campus,* leaving students in certain disciplines unsure whether they would graduate on schedule. Last week, 40 more job cuts were promised.
Adding insult to injury is that a couple of guys who helped run the university right before this crisis are receiving a combined $1.3-million from the budget after leaving, reports the StarPhoenix. And that doesn’t include pension contributions.
What students are talking about today (January 2nd)
1. If 2011 was the year of Occupy Wall Street, 2013 may be the year that the rich get punished, if only just a little bit. The United States avoided its “fiscal cliff” after Congress passed a deal that includes tax increases for those who make more than $450,000—roughly the richest one per cent. They will now pay just under 40 per cent income tax, up from about 35 per cent. Meanwhile in France—where Socialist president Francois Hollande has made no attempt to hide his distaste for the rich—the country’s highest court, citing unfairness, rejected a top tax rate of 75 per cent. The French government plans to try again. In Canada the tax increases are more equitable: everyone will pay more in Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums this year. Yay!
2. Meanwhile, the CCPA reports that the typical executive among Canada’s top 100 highest paid will earn the equivalent of the median Canadian paycheque—$46,000—by noon today. The good news for OWS supporters is that average executive pay fell eight per cent last year to $7.7 million. And this might make you feel better about your future earnings: $34,000 puts you in the richest one per cent globally, according to a World Bank economist. The median salary worldwide is $1,225.
Farmers want population eradicated
Ryan Brook is counting some not so little piggies.
The University of Saskatchewan researcher is heading the first scientific survey of the province’s wild boar population.
He hopes to have his data compiled quickly next year so he can persuade the provincial government to step up its battle against the pesky porkers before their numbers grow completely out of control. It’s a problem he foresees across the Prairies.
“I think the window is closing very rapidly,” says Brook.
“If we don’t take some very serious action over the next two years, then we’re very quickly going to be moving into a position where we’re simply trying to manage and live with wild boar, rather than eradicate them.”
Global Institute for Food Security received $50 million in funding
SASKATOON – A new centre is being developed to look at food supply as a growing world population needs to be fed.
The Global Institute for Food Security, based at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, will look at everything from boosting crop yields to government agricultural policies.
“One of the things that makes this centre unique from other centres is that we will be looking at the entire stream from production to the delivery of food where it is needed, so one way of saying that is, we are looking at the whole process from field to fork,” said university president Ilene Busch-Vishniac.
Maple Batalia, 20 years of txts & another fraternity offends
1. Two men have been arrested in connection with last year’s shooting death of 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student and aspiring actress Maple Batalia. Gurjinder Dhaliwal, Batalia’s ex boyfriend, faces first degree murder charges. More here.
2. Iman Siwalem was in the basement of her house near the University of Windsor on Saturday when she heard the footsteps of an intruder above. She locked herself in her basement room, but the man barged in, lunged and chased her up the stairs. She fled in bare feet and got her neighbours’ attention. More here.
3. It was 20 years ago today that the world’s first text message—Merry Christmas—travelled from a computer to a phone. Its inventor, Neil Papworth, was a 22-year-old Montreal man working for British telecom company Vodafone. To read more about how texts changed the world, see Maclean’s.
More Quebec protests, oil debate & democracy at U of T
1. It’s that time of the month again. Several thousand students marched in Montreal Thursday to demand free tuition, despite already winning frozen tuition from the Parti Quebecois government. The demonstration was supported by the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante, whose now-disbanded CLASSE wing was considered the most radical student group during the protests that shut down campuses earlier this year. Speaking of shutting down campuses, some students blocked certain entrances to the Université du Québec à Montréal on Thursday, reports the Montreal Gazette.
2. The University of Toronto Students’ Union’s annual general meeting drew a lot of angry voters who refused to approve the agenda at the beginning of Thursday’s meeting. While most AGMs are poorly attended, students waited in line for hours to get in to this one. Sam Greene, who heads of Trinity College, urged members to not approve the agenda unless the UTSU considers electoral reforms. Corey Scott, vice-president internal for UTSU, told The Varsity that the way students vote showed their “privilege.”
3. There is support among some of Canada’s premiers to ship Alberta oil to Eastern Canada. Two men whose provinces don’t have much oil themselves, Manitoba’s Greg Selinger and Nova Scotia’s Darrell Dexter, say they are interested, and Alberta’s Alison Redford and Quebec’s Pauline Marois agreed Thursday to examine the benefits and environmental effects of such a project.
Jimmy Carter at Queen’s, Twinkies at risk & a hip-hop club
1. Queen’s University is facing a backlash after deciding to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter an honourary degree. Why? Because Carter criticizes Israel. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs told National Post that at least 50 upset Queen’s alumni have contacted them.
2. Twinkies and Wonder Bread are on life-support. Hostess Brands Inc. says it will go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of striking bakery workers.
3. A third-year journalism student at Ryerson University has started the first Canadian chapter of the Student Hip-Hop Organization. The self-funded group celebrates hip-hop culture and discusses what’s hot on the hip-hop scene, reports The Eyeopener. U.S. branches have brought acts like Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi to campus.
A Bieber fan attacked, James Franco & #RIP Amanda Todd
1. A Vancouver Justin Bieber fan had her night nearly ruined. Simran Mann wrote her name inside a heart with a Bieber reference on a pillar outside Rogers Arena. The problem was that pillar was a memorial for Canuck’s player Rick Rypien. Hockey fans tracked her down on Twitter and unleashed a fury: “Please hang yourself, so I can destroy your grave,” wrote one. Ouch.
2. Speaking of the Canucks, Kevin Bieksa and Daniel Sedin will play a charity game at UBC on Oct. 17. Both men are angry that sold-out tickets are being re-sold by scalpers on Craigslist.
3. Canadians are standing up against bullying with the hashtag #RIP Amanda Todd, in honour of the 15-year-old B.C. girl who killed herself after releasing an anti-bullying video on YouTube.
Big Bird, full buses in B.C., hackers & Lena Dunham
1. In a poll, two-thirds of CNN viewers concurred that Romney came out on top. Romney didn’t win with the under-12 demographic, however, as he said he’d cut funding to PBS, home of Big Bird, because public television is not worth borrowing money from China to fund. Luckily for him, children can’t vote.
2. Transit users in Victoria, B.C. are being passed up by full buses more than twice often as predicted by B.C. Transit before they implemented “real-time tracking.” The agency suggests post-secondary schools should stagger class start times to reduce the problem. I have a feeling this isn’t just a frustration for B.C. students. Am I right?
3. Hackers called Team GhostShell have claimed responsibility for breaking into more than 120,000 computer accounts at dozens of universities to protest what they see as high-cost and low-quality higher education. Sites at the University of British Columbia and McMaster University were on the list of what’s called “ProjectWestWind.” Identity Finder, a data-protection company, found that more than 35,000 e-mail addresses and thousands of usernames were compromised. Most of the sites were the type made by professors themselves, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Important cat research, Blasphemy Day & Justin Trudeau
1. Japanese researchers have published an article in PloS ONE entitled “The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus.” In sum, viewing photos of cute animals could make you more productive at work. Thank you Japan.
2. Speaking of important cat research, a powerful 2011 earthquake has affected the psychological state of cats in Turkey. They are attempting suicide on a regular basis, according to Abuzer Tas, a lecturer in a local veterinary school. “After the quake… a large number of cats are throwing themselves from heights,” he said. Seriously.
3. A student group at the University of Saskatchewan offered cookies for human souls last week as part of International Blasphemy Day, an annual demonstration on the anniversary of the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad in Denmark. Visitors to the Freethought Alliance booth could spin a wheel to see which version of hell they would go to. “We’re trying to express that in this country, and all free speaking countries, we are allowed to say things about religion that might not be kind or informed, yet we have the right to say it,” leader Brandon Gerbig told CBC News.
A beginner’s guide to master-level sustainability programs
Many will tell you that they have their M.E.S., but pay close attention because those three letters can mean master of environment and sustainability or master of environmental studies, by which they likely don’t mean master of environmental science, which tends to be denoted by the letters M.Sc. Adding to the confusion are programs with a special focus, such as business, IT or energy. Even degrees with the same name can be very different, so it’s best to research each one. Here’s a sampling to get you started:
Master of Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.)
University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.
This is a one-year interdisciplinary program that is course-based. Students get an overview of management, ecosystems and engineering before doing co-op terms at government agencies, consulting firms and at companies like Magna and Bank of Nova Scotia. Most graduates go straight to industry.
Terrence Tremaine was charged for postings on Jews
A hate charge has been stayed against a former University of Saskatchewan lecturer because the case took too long to get to trial.
Terrence Tremaine was charged in 2008 with wilfully promoting hatred for postings he allegedly made on the Internet about Jews.
Tremaine appeared in a Regina court today where Judge Fred Kovach stayed the charge because of an unreasonable delay.
Kovach said a trial date still has not been set, adding it could be months away.
He also noted that the maximum punishment if convicted would be two years in prison — twice the amount of time Tremaine has waited for the case to work its way through the courts.
The Crown says it needs time to review the decision before deciding whether to appeal.