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The Ubyssey Feb 1, 2008

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Helicopters, automatic weapons,
K-9 squads, an Emergency
Response Team, and police
negotiators descend on 6270
University Boulevard.
At approximately 2pm on Wednesday, police from throughout the
Lower Mainland converged on
UBC's Biological Sciences Building, which was quickly locked
down in what police describe as
a response to a threat to public
"There was no bomb or explosive device," said Kevin Kenna,
Staff Sergeant of the UBC RCMP
detachment. "No one was hurt,
and no shots were fired. And I am
able to say that the response was
absolutely not a drill."
"We received a threat, where
the Biological Sciences Building
was specifically mentioned, and
based on the threat, and further
information we received as a
result of our preliminary investigation we acted upon this threat
quickly and activated a number of
resources across the lower mainland," said RCMP Constable Annie Linteau at a Wednesday press
conference. "The building is now
in a state of lockdown."
Students inside the building
when the police arrived were
stuck there, while students who
attempted to enter were denied
access. The Major Crime Investigation unit, an Emergency Response Team (ERT), a canine unit,
and a helicopter were among the
resources mobilized to secure the
"We really can't talk about
the nature or the origin of the
threat at this point," said Ssgt.
Kenna. "Perhaps in a day or two,
as the investigation progresses,
we will be able to release more
Ssgt. Kenna also explained the
choice to lockdown rather than
evacuate the building. "We made
a call when we looked at the nature ofthe event, and decided that
a lockdown was the appropriate
response. An evacuation would
create targets of opportunity and
would expand the nature of the
threat. With a lockdown we were
see "Campus Crisis" | page 02 theubysseymagazine
February 1st, 2008
Guitar Her
Time: 7pm
Where: The Pit
Cost: $2 Sleeves, $8 Pitche
What: Do you have what
ommunity eats Groundhog Day
i Time Feb 2
outs (SUB basement) Where: Outside
Cost: Free
donated food from *-J   What: If it sees it's she
idors lovingly "£   still have 6 weeks of w
rolunteers. jj   not,springisacomin
Sprouts community e
Time: Lunch Time
Where: Sprouts (SUB basen
Cost: Free
What: Free donated food fr
j   produce vendors lovingl
_}   cooked by volunteer'
Superbowl XLII
Feb 3
,   Time: 3:18 pm
jj   Where: The nearest big screen,
i   high res television nearyou
O   What: Pats pursue perfection
against Peyton's little b
Editors w
and Louis XI
Time: Doors 8:00 pm
^   Where: Commodor Ball
'   Tickets:
5   timberproductionsconcerts.c
,,   What: Indie rock.
Cher night
Time: Doors 9pm
Where: Celebrities Night Club
Cost: $5 cover
What: "A tribute to the ultimate
■g5 diva." Sonny Bono won't be
J?   there, but other fine men will.
Talk Sex with
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Place Vanier Ballroom
£   Cost: $3 Donation
■y   What: Canada's #1 sex educator
°i   answers your questions in rez
'Don't be surprised if you see.Jhe 'guys in black'on campus over the next few days.'-RCMP
from "Campus Scare" | page oi
able to contain the threat to the
"We were quite pleased
with the conduct of students,"
he said. "Having gone through
lockdown procedures during
high-school, I think many [students] know what to expect.
"I don't think there is any
heightened danger on campus
today, but don't be surprised if
you see the ERTs, the 'guys in
black' on campus over the next
few days."
Renny Lee, a fourth-year
master's student in biology,
was in his office doing work at
around 2pm when the building
was locked down.
"A person going from room
to room was telling us to lock
the doors," he said. "I was at my
computer and then someone
knocked on my door telling us
that we need to keep it locked
until someone came by and
gave us a password telling us it
was okay."
Jean Sugimoto, another student in the building at the time,
said the police did not inform
anyone of what was happening.
"We were calling my friends
on the outside. They didn't know
anything, the police weren't telling us anything," she said.
Up to 1000 students and faculty remained stuck inside the
building during the lockdown,
many for upwards of three
hours. The RCMP's ERT-simi-
lar to American SWAT teams-
searched the building floor by
floor, slowly bringing occupants
out throughout the afternoon.
"We were locked in the room,
told not to leave until someone
The RCMP lockdown trapped upwards of 1000 students,staff,and
faculty in the Biological Science Building for more than three hours.
came around. It was a bit odd,
seeing action all around; we
saw helicopters, we saw guns,"
said student Matthew Regan
when he was released from the
building around 5pm.
In an online press release
the UBC administration called
off classes in the biology building, urged students to stay away
from the lockdown, and at one
point, recommend students to
stay off campus entirely. However the full extent of UBC's
emergency warning systems
were not used, nor were classes
in neighboring buildings interrupted. Instead, the administration sent messages to senior
staff  and   faculty   and   asked
them to relay the warning to
individual professors and staff.
As a result many students
and faculty were unsure of what
was happening. Hundreds of
students, faculty members, and
journalists huddled in the rain
and sleet along the perimeter
of the building throughout the
afternoon. Many people hung
around, unsure if biology classes would resume.
Biology professor Wayne
Goodey was present at the entrance of the biology building
for close to an hour after it was
locked down.
"It's usually fire or chemical
spills or things of that kind [that
cause building shut-downs,]" he
said. "It's not usually the case
that we see a police situation.
Police are sometimes called
for things, but not to the point
of closing down buildings. So
it's obviously something more
severe than what it would normally be. But that's all I know, I
haven't been told anything."
Yesterday the biology building reopened and UBC declared
in a press release that "normal
campus activities may resume."
While the investigation is ongoing, Ssgt. Kenna added that
nothing was found and no suspect was apprehended during
the lockdown.
With 24 hours having
passed since the end of the crisis, concerns have been raised
by students and faculty about
the lack of information released
by police.
"I just think that [the police]
have to give more information.
If this is real, they've done a
bad job," said Martin Adamson,
a professor in the biology department. "Students have been
in there for hours. Because
we're scientists, we're curious.
If they've got something important, they've got to back it up.
"They can't just be saying
'do this.' And I don't think
you should be able to say that
to students, either. Students
should be thinking too now.
Police are probably used to
talking to people who just say
'OK'. Anyway, I don't know, but
it's important to watch and see
how this turns out." vl
front page photo credit:
main:Keegan Bursaw
secondary: Oker Chen
at Chilli House Thai Bistro
tonight! Friday, Feb 1st
7pm. No taxes or tips for
members. Non members
welcome too.
NIGHT 2008:
Kampung & Coconuts.
Fashion show, Malay
traditional dances,
Indonesian Angklung,
local bands & Malaysian/
Singaporean cuisine. Sat,
Feb 2 6-9pm. Neville Scarfe
Building, UBC, Rm 100.
$ 15. Dress code: Smart
casual. Contact Eu Ken
at 778-883-1787.
"The Past, Present, and
Future of Agency in Africa."
Feb lst-8th. Keynote
MonFcb4, 6:30 pm. Liu
Institute Multi purpose
room. Movie night and
panel, Feb 5th. Mini
symposium at Liu Institute
1 lam-4pm Feb 6. www.
An ACE UBC event, where 6
teams compete to showcase
their business plans to real
Want to be one of them?
Apply before FEB 25.
Applications available:
www.aceubc.ca For
more information contact
The deception of bourgeois
democracy. Break with
the pro-imperialist NDP!
Wednesday, Feb 6th,
6pm, room 212 Student
Union Building.
reading week
Feb. 17-24, 2 brdrm
timeshare, sleeps six, fully
equiped, sauna, hot pools,
swim pools, fitness centre.
BARGAIN $1,000 (no taxes).
help wanted
Receive $35 for
participation in UBC
psychology research!
Visits scheduled at your
604-822-903 7.
Classical, Jazz, World, RCM
prep. Experienced teacher
with BMus. (UBC) & Master
of Music (C.U. NY).
Contact Mike Dowler at
Professionals in business
over 20 years. Call
1-800-345-8295 or email
5 minute drive from UBC.
BandB.com. Call Joanne
Renwick, 604-224-6355.
Its battery won't hold a
charge? Get it fixed by a
UBC student for less. Call
Prof editor will polish
papers/theses until you
shine, www.pto-editing.com,
pto edit@yahoo.ca, 250-
Free classifieds for students: For more information, visit Boom 23 iii the sub or call: 604-823-1654
February 1st, 2008
Vol. LXXXIX N°36
Editorial Board
coordinating editor
Champagne Choquer
news editors brandon adams &
Boris Korby
features/national editor
Matthew Jewkes
production manager
Kellan Higgins
Levi Barnett
volunteer coordinator
Stephanie Findlay
cally run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to
Editorials are chosen and written bythe Ubyssey staff. They are
the expressed opinion of the staff and do not necessarily reflect
iU~ ": 'The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
bia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is
the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions,
' herein cannot be reproduced
  r , , ...ission of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
~       lemberofCanadianUniversityPress
|u,Jing principles.
lust be under 300 words. Please include
e (notfor publication; di wen di youi ycdi diiu idcuny Willi diI MjunlissionS. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone/'Perspec-
*'   J' 300 words but under 750 words and
eestyles"areopinion pieceswritten by
ibers. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter istimesensitive.Opinion pieces
will not be run until the identity ofthe writer has been verified. The
Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clar-
ust be received by 12 noon the day before intended
following issue unless then
matter deemed relevant by
lilsto publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occursthe liability of the UPS will not be
 ' i the ad.The UPS shall not be respon-
 ,, ...., , ^graphical errorsthat do not lessen the
value orthe impact ofthe ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax: 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bc.ca
business manager Femie Pereira
ad traffic Jesse Marchand
ad design Michael Bround
Brandon Adams and Kellen Higgins decided to go on an adventure, they decided to walk up the Joe Rayment mountain.
Unfortunately they did know that Stephanie Findlay and Boris
Korby were there with thier barbarian army called the"Maries."
Gerald Doe help up his hand to sheild his eye from the sun
because the most regel Peter Hoi ' "" '
He had attempted to scout the a,,,,, „, „.*....,, ...^...,. „..*.
Chen had shot him down. David Zhang was beside his side with
Celetian Rince. Greg Ursik and Levi Barnet commended Jordan
Chittley for suggesting the Joe Ray     *       *-:" ' '" ~
was also part of the barbarian arm, 	
joined Justin McElroy. They listened tothe SnoopDogg remix of
the Doors"riders on the storm." Paul Bucci said that they didn't
know how to play the doors at all. Amanda Stutt said that it
didn't matter if people needed to play the doors or not,because
Sam Jung and her had too much money invested in this mountain expedition to get sidetracked. Goh Iromotoh just came in
and stole the emperors groove from Shun Endo.
Michael Bround
Canadian   Canada post Sales Agreement
University  Number 0o40878022
Kress February 1st, 2008
Voters apathetic because elections are a joke
UBC student elections. I agree with the potential reasons cited in the article, but you missed
a big one: the joke candidates.
If the AMS really wants people to take the
elections seriously, and if voter apathy is feared
as a reason behind much ofthe non-voting, why
are joke candidates allowed to run for real positions? If I could vote for a fire hydrant, why
should I vote at all? I don't know the reason behind joke candidates, but I bet that if I asked the
AMS elections officials about them they would
spout off some crap about "freedom" and "fairness." In reality, allowing joke candidates like
a caveman to run is a thinly-veiled attempt at
being "cool" and is immensely hypocritical.
Why bemoan and devote research to low voter
turnouts if the whole election is one big joke?
The election is taken so seriously that one
candidate was disqualified for letting people
vote on a computer next to him. Apparently
that's against the rules. But it's OK for a fire
hydrant to be on the ballot? Some people have
argued that "all elections are like this" and "we
can vote for a Marijuana Party and Work Less
party, aren't those essentially joke candidates
too?" I say no, it's not the same. Apolitical party
can espouse anything they like, but they AT
LEAST have their own opinions. The last time I
checked, fire hydrants DON'T.
It's sad enough that many of the world's
national elections seem to be one big joke. To
me, making a joke out ofthe AMS elections and
then complaining that students must not believe that the candidates can change anything
—Chelsea Theriault, non-voter
Editor's note: this piece originally ran as a
comment at ubyssey.ca about the article "Six
Reasons Why I Choose to Smoke" that appeared on Friday, January 25th.
In order to make a truly well-informed decision
on smoking, I would suggest that you work as a
attention to lune cancer victims.
younger sister, who smoked for thirty years,
and died of lung cancer in November 2004.
This is what I learned:
Death by lung cancer is not only worse
than you think, it's worse than you can imagine. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you are
beckoning to an infinitely cruel monster that is
looking for victims. Once it notices you and gets
its claws into you, no one can save you. There
are probably worse ways of dying, but none that
I've ever seen or heard of.
Don't take my word for it; check it out for
—David Cumming
unclassified UBC student
Submit a letter to the Ubyssey and see your
writing in print. Letters to the editor must be
under 300 words. Opinion pieces know as
"Perspectives" range from 300 to 750 words.
This year's rant is the opposite of literary,
rather it is now about SCREAMING your
face off about something that annoys you.
Come on out and rant with us.
Quiet RCMP forces rumours about lockdown
Wednesday was a strange
day for the campus.
As many of us know, we
were swarmed by the RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT), various police detachments, the fire
department, several ambulances,
and crowds of bored journalists.
They spent the better part of the
afternoon in and around the Biological Sciences Building.
The RCMP taped off the building and surrounding area and
dispatched a helicopter to monitor
from above. The public was not
told what the police were doing.
Students in the building were
told to lock themselves in their
classrooms and offices and were
reportedly not allowed to go to the
bathroom (or do anything else).
They were told these measures
were for their safety—and that was
all they were told. All over campus, shocked students and faculty
watched, waited, and wondered
what could be happening.
In an effort to make sense of
the situation, students blogged
reports from inside the building.
Nowpublic.com published reports
that a suicidal gunman was loose
in the building, threatening
people's lives. One professor was
telling anyone who listened that
itwas a drill. Local media outlets
published stories on their websites—with minimal knowledge of
the actual situation—that a police
incident was occurring. Parents
from around the country frantically called their children, haunted
by images from Virginia Tech and
terrified of imminent violence. At
about 4pm, emails were circulated
stating that the situation was 'resolved'. But at the end of the day,
we were all still in the dark about
what actually happened. The police
were tight-lipped, and the less they
said, the more rumors swarmed.
What we want to know is why
was there all the secrecy?
Why was a large section of
campus blocked off, students
terrorized, and vague mentions
ofthe threat circulated without a
single fact being released to the
public? We were told that there
was a threat and that they were investigating. No fucking shit. What
about the rumours? Why let people
believe that there was a gunman
or a bomb, or whatever?
We often talk about how advances in technology are changing
the way the press operates. As
such, change is needed in the way
police handle a public increasingly more demanding of instant
information. If not, rumors, many
of them much more dangerous
than the facts, will emerge. The
recent incident at UBC is a perfect
example of how such a vacuum
of information can fuel a rumour
mill that at the least traumatized
worried parents, and at the worst
endangered hundreds of people.
The police response was to simply
shrug it off.
What we are asking for is simply some respect. Allow the public,
as responsible adults, to know if
we are about to be hurt. And don't
jerk us around in the mean time.
Such a large police show of force
needs to be justified. Terror is
only acceptable to a point.
Ultimately, there is plenty of
blame to go around for the cluster-
fuck of confusion that was Wednesday. While it is easy to point the
finger at police and say they need
to do a better job, it's important
to recognize that much the fault
for the mayhem lies with a media
driven by deadlines, rather than
diligence. We were not informed
by Tuesday's alarmist journalism
nor by the RCMP silence. Yet if
both the press and public are not
dangling for information, maybe
situations like the one on Wednesday can be avoided, vl
Streeters is a twice-weekly column
in which students are asked a
question    pertinent    to    UBC.
See their full comments online at www.ubyssey.ca
What did you hear happened at the Biological Sciences Building?
"I saw a helicopter
flying overhead
and I didn't know
what it was...A
^irl in class, she
said...there's a
shooter on campus.
They didn't do a
good job of alerting people."
floor mate came
around... and said
'don't go to class,
heard was on the
UBC website, and
"I heard about
the incident from
a friend...her
there is a police
incident'. A friend
said there was a
bomb threat. I
heard a lot of different stories."
heard there was an
incident, and stuff
have no idea what
was going on."
because they had
heard something
from one of their
friends... People
were saying there
was a bomb threat
"I checked my
email.. .me and my
roommates realized
we knew absolutely
nothing about
what was going on.
The email was as
vague as it possibly
could've been. It's
very much like
a bureaucratic
UBC to not tell us
-Coordinated by Jordan Chittley and Amanda Stutt theubysseymagazine
February 1st, 2008
Campus  &  Community  Planning
Date Correction
Development Permit Applications
Pacific Spirit
Regional Park
■ ■ Green Streets
_ Park Space
I Green Buffer
0DP 07034: MBA House
UBC Properties Trust
proposes to build a mixed used
rental building, 4-storey, dormitory
style units for MBA students with a
lobby, coffee shop, and amenity
space on the ground floor on Lot
47 of Wesbrook Place (South
Campus Neighbourhood). This
proposal would remain consistent
with the approved Neighbourhood
DP 08002: SC Lot 11,
Faculty & Staff Rental
Housing UBC Properties Trust
proposes to build a 4-storey, 45-
unit Faculty & Staff Rental building
on Lot 11 of Wesbrook Place
(South Campus Neighbourhood).
This proposal would remain
consistent with approved
Neighbourhood Plan.
These applications are scheduled for consideration by the Development Permit Board on
February 13, 2008, Maple Room, Ponderosa Centre, 2071 West Mall, 5 - 7 p.m.; for
directions visit www.maps.ubc.ca
More information on this project is available on the C & CP website:
CT   Questions: Daniel Sirois, Manager Development Services, C&CP
e-mail: daniel.sirois@ubc.ca
>t    This event is wheelchair accessible. For more information about assistance for persons
with disabilities, e-mail rachel.wiersma@ubc.ca
New look
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High Ropes • Counselor • Nurses • Lifeguards • Kitchen
www.camptrillium.com   1-888-999-CAMP [22671
Apply now for BCIT'S Insurance
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For more information, call 604.432.8898
or visit bcit.ca/5880diplt
The Lineup for-2@
Gregs picks:
fn 2007 f screened nearly 240 films, from over 30 countries. And
what did 1 get for my efforts? Beside a sore neck, a flattened butt,
and pen marked clothes (you try writing in the dark), 1 was nearly
driven to cinecide by such IQ killers as "Mr. Bean's Vacation," "Hannibal Rising," and "Georgia Rule" (which left me wondering what 1
did to deserve them). 1 credit the likes of "Blade Runner: The Directors Cut" (on the big screen like it was meant to be seen), "Edge of
Heaven" (you'll get to see why later this year) and "Union: The Business Behind Getting High" for pulling me back from the brink. So if
you're looking for something to rent on a rainy Vancouver evening
(that phrase may be redundant) or want a head start on your Oscar
pool read on.
A hardscrabble prospector accidentally strikes oil and embarks
on an empire building career that would make Dick Cheney blush.
Blood is a lesson in great filmmaking: with a riveting story incredible cinematography, a great supporting cast, and perfect direction.
Mix in Daniel Day Lewis' virtuoso performance and you have the
best film ofthe decade.Just don't go in if you're depressed oryou'll
be looking for a razor blade.
When self-described "freak girl" Juno gets pregnant, she decides
to keep the baby and give it to a deserving couple. Hilarity ensues.
The whimsically animated opening sequence sets the tone for the
film which boasts a wry sense of humour, hipper-than-thou rapid
fire dialogue, and a near faultless script. It's too bad that the Oscars don't recognize ensemble casts, as this one—which includes
Michael Cera, Jason Batemen, and Jennifer Garner (the latter two
delivering their best performances to date)—is the year's best. In
spite of this, Ellen Page still manages to steal the spotlight as she
breezes through the script effortlessly nailing every line. 1 saw this
movie three times and enjoyed it more with every viewing. And the
fact that part of it was filmed in a colleague's bedroom had nothing
A midwife tries to find the relatives of an abandoned baby and
runs afoul ofthe Russian mob. The second pairing of David Cronen-
berg and Viggo Mortensen once again takes viewers on a dark
journey into the depths ofthe human condition. But just because
it's a mainstream film, don't think that Cronenberg has abandoned
his horror roots—the gore is still here only it's more realistic. The
perfectly accented Mortensen is sublime as the gang's enforcer,
and Armin Mueller-Stahl is terrifying as the patriarch of the crime
family. Throw in gritty London backdrops, plots twists, and one of
the most visceral fight sequences ever captured on celluloid and
you have a great film. Just be prepared to squirm.
Need a reason to appreciate Cancon? Look no further. Sarah Pol-
ley's adaptation of an Alice Munroe short story follows a husband
who can only stand idly by as his wife of four decades is enveloped
in an Alzheimer's fog and falls for another man. First time director
Polley ensures an evenly paced story and carefully frames the dramatic elements without lapsing into melodrama. Gordon Pinsent is
subdued as the suffering husband, while Julie Christie—had to be
made under for the role—provides a study in grace as Fiona slides
into mental oblivion. Note: during an interview with Polley 1 asked
what she would do when she was nominated for the film and she
was adamant that it would never happen. I'm glad she was wrong.
I'm betting she is too.
A hunter in the Texas badlands hits the pro
stumbling upon the proceeds
gone terribly wrong.
to love (or at the very least respect and admiration). "No Country"
is a suspenseful thriller, with genuine characters, great action
sequences, precision pacing and exacting editing. The supporting
cast, which includes Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Kelly Macdonald, is superb, but Javier Bardem with his page boy haircut and
chilling demeanor will keep you rooted to the edge of your seat. If
not for the anti-climactic resolution to the key plot thread this would
have been my favorite film of the year.
Musicals are not my forte. So when 1 heard about the scathing
reviews test audiences gave the film and the director's fight with the
studio, 1 was doubly concerned. 1 can only assume is that there were
major re-shoots, massive edits, or the test audience was a pack of
troglodytes, because Julie Taymor's ode to the Beatles was a revelation: the brilliantly re-envisioned songs (which were sung acapella
by the principals) were balanced with dance sequences choreographed with military precision and jaw-dropping "high on acid"
visuals, ft may have been a little light on story but who noticed? I've
already cleared a spot for this one in my DVD collection.
2007 was a banner year for Judd Apatow, who had a hand in
both of these films about people behaving badly (three if you count
"Walk Hard," but that was more of a mock biopic). The former dealt
with a mismatched duo trying to come to grips with the expectant side effect of a one-night stand while the latter dealt with high
school seniors relying on alcohol for a one night stand. While these
movies are often silly and regularly crude, they are also hilarious.
What sets them apart from the typical teen exploitation flick is that
the characters have heart, their actions have consequences and the
stories include elements of personal growth and fulfillment (beyond getting drunk and laid). 1 rarely expect this much depth from
a drama, let alone a comedy.
A look at the twentieth century explorers who traveled to the
moon. 1 went in expecting to see some spectacular footage and
wasn't disappointed: the archival footage, much of which has never
been seen before, is simply awe-inspiring. 1 also tried to figure out
how they got many ofthe shots in question (the one ofthe separating rocket sections comes to mind). But what really kept me rapt
were the candid interviews with the feisty celestial pioneers, which
runs the gamut from anecdotes about some other hilarious firsts to
profound life change epiphanies. If you get a chance to see this on
the big screen don't miss it!
A love affair is doomed by the actions of an infatuated sibling and attempts to repair the damage are overshadowed by the
clouds of war. The third book-to-film adaptation in this year's top
ten (next to "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men")
fares equally well on the big screen. 1 loved the novel use of the
sound of a typewriter as a background score (you have to hear it
to understand) and the tracking shot of troops massing at Dunkirk
was simply amazing, ft was the boiling passion between Knightley
and McAvoy, both of whom arguably deliver the best performances
of their respective careers, that won me over. If the story wasn't so
damned depressing this would be higher up on my list. But it was,
so it isn't.
Siblings Wendy and Jon Savage's lives of quiet desperation are
thrown into tumult when they have to find a rest home for their
ailing father who abandoned them long ago. This quiet little film
features an exquisitely crafted screenplay which dances between
serious drama and gallows humour, yet avoids the pitfalls of pretension. Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman's nuanced
performances are simply the icing on the cake.
by Jesse Ferreras and Greg Ursic
Late December came as an antidote for an otherwise pitiful
year at the movies. Notwithstanding the excellent fare listed
below, 1 was hard-pressed to find memorable films that 1
would see again. Mid-November 1 was ready to proclaim
"300" and "Transformers" two ofthe best films 1 had seen
all year, but then 1 saw "No Country for Old Men" and it
was all uphill from there. Now 1 find myself caught by some
ten. But 1 digress—here's the best movies of 2008 that 1 was
lucky enough to take in.
Director Julian Schnabel steps way out of his comfort
zone with this magnificent adaptation of Elie France editor
Jean-Dominique Bauby's autobiography dictated entirely
by the blink of a single eye. Acting and cinematography in
this piece are both stunning, but the best thing about the
film is its ability to awaken you to the wide breath of the
human imagination, even when one's body is left immobile
by a stroke. Schnabel's painterly strokes illuminate every
still. Lead actor Mathieu Amalric was robbed of an Oscar
nomination. Who would have cried if George Clooney hadn't
gotten the nod?
I'm going to sound a little hypocritical here as I've
thrown my weight behind "Diving Bell" as my top of the
year, but this one's certainly a candidate for one of the
greatest films of the decade. It's already been compared to
"Citizen Kane"—a bold move, but 1 can certainly see the association. Daniel Day-Lewis' scenery-chewing performance
as a greedy hubristic oil prospector is a wonder to behold
and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's score beautifully enhances his descent into madness. Along with "This
is Sparta!" this picture boasts one ofthe most unforgettable
lines in recent movie history. But I'll leave you to figure out
what that is on your own.
This one was firmly at the top of my list until I saw the
latter two films, but that shouldn't serve to denigrate Joe
Wright's beautiful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel. As one
of our time's literary classics, this was a tough one to adapt,
but Wright pulled it off brilliantly with strong performances,
a heart-wrenching score, and a melancholic middle section
that reawakened audiences to the tragic story of Dunkirk (a
massive retreat by British and Allied forces at the beginning
of WWII in 1940). Sure, it reeks of Merchant-Ivory (the production company) pretentiousness, and it rises well above
that, but count on it being shut out of numerous awards for
that very quality.
Bill O'Reilly put a kind of fatwa on Brian DePalma's
head for making this film, which was one of three pictures
in 2007 to examine the Iraq War. This film is patently antiwar, telling (in a very fragmented fashion) about the rape
and murder of an Iraqi girl by US soldiers and the system's
attempts to cover it up. It's told through numerous source's
perspectives, including, but not limited to, blogs, personal
video cameras, YouTube videos, and a documentary film
crew. It does a great job of showing us how we're receiving
our wars through modern technology but never suppresses
its disturbing impact.
A triumphant return to form for Directors Joel and Ethan
Coen, who left fans wondering what the hell they were up
to when they made "The Ladykillers" and "Intolerable Cruelty." They must have been gearing up for this one, a taut
thriller that meditates on any number of themes including
greed, fate, and human morality. Javier Bardem makes a
terrifying angel of death in Anton Chigurh as the brutal,
uncompromising killer who nevertheless looks to be on the
brink of tears in most scenes. (Look closely at his eyes if you
don't believe me.) Josh Brolin (Llewelyn Moss) stretches his
acting chops and proves his potential as an A-list actor.
Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of
her graphic memoir about growing up in post-revolutionary Iran is a truly memorable film and is the best animated
work of the year. The filmic adaptation doesn't go too far
beyond what you'd expect of an adaptation, virtually lifting
the images from their source pages and putting them in
motion on screen. It nevertheless allows for some beautiful
animation that frames a sensitive story about a young girl's
dabblings in western pop culture, all the while maintaining
a strong relationship with her family. A truly touching film.
Social realist director Ken Loach adapts his detached
directing style to the Irish War of Independence in an attempt to draw a link with disillusionment over the Iraq War.
He's not quite successful in that endeavour, but nonetheless
turns out a powerful, compelling work about a war that pits
brother against brother in the pursuit of an independent
state. Scenes of insurgent tactics perpetrated against British
soldiers are violent and shocking in their brutality, but very
effective throughout.
Paul Greengrass proves he was the right man to take
over the Bourne series with this, the final film ofthe trilogy.
finally figure out who he is and how he got so swift at killing people. The car chase scene fails to stand out over the
Mini chase from the first film but has lots of heart-pumping
action to make up for it, not the least of which is a manic
sequence in a London train station. I can't say it made me
happy to see a reporter get assassinated, but it was plenty
Director Julie Taymor returns with an homage to the
Beatles and the last great decade for music and activism.
The musical just bounds off the screen with colour and
feeling, carried along by a thin plot detailing a young lad
from Liverpool Qude) who comes to America looking for
his father and falls for an angelic Evan Rachel Wood (Lucy).
The picture does a fine job of harnessing baby boomers'
nostalgia for the 60s and tugging at the heart with brilliant
renditions of "Hey Jude" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
Though if I hear my girlfriend sing that last song one more
time the fur is going to fly.
Probably the most atypical Disney film to come out in
years—a smart, light, funny tale about a rat who wants to
be a chef in Paris and the bumbling dishwasher he enlists
to make that happen. Notwithstanding the title, this whole
film was a risk—its attention to dialogue often comes at the
expense of the manic comedy you've come to expect from
films like "The Incredibles" and "Toy Story," but it's still an
appealing piece of work. The little rat Remy (Patton Oswalt)
is a perfectly likable character and the animation, this time
recreating Paris, is first-rate. \a
A'n" theubysseymagazine
February 1st, 2008
Actual testimonial1:
When I came to UBC, I was lost.Then I found the Ubyssey's RANT issue.That's when I
became a believer. You see, they publish a collection of tirades from the UBC community.
Since I was associated with UBC, I was welcome to contribute a "rant" on the subject of
pet peeves, personal hobbies, or righteous crusades. Anything that I found important
that I could talk about—they wanted to print it. All they said was,"We hope to have 200-
1000 word contributions from professors, administrators and students on everything
from too much homework to not enough world peace. Verbosity, indignance, and
exhuberance are encouraged. Go get'em kid! Let the world know what you are thinking.
We believe in you." And you know what? I believed in them, too. And I still do. I also
believe that they're doing it again, and that the deadline for submissions is February 12th.
You can get in touch at features®ubyssey.bc.ca.
•|eaj A||enpe iou lemoixujsej 4-
tiiis^  „      er customer.
o, more (before ta»*One °»'sPFeMa„ 29,2008
Bring m this aa w .
„—we taxes), ui
promotion ends
Valid at these 5 Locations:
.West 4th Ave. (at Yew St.)
. Oakridge Centre
. tvletrotown Centre
.Richmond Centre
.Guildford Town Centre
Musical promises jaunty fun
High school students, community
join production
By Jacob McNeil
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society's
production of The Mikado is a
fun, light-hearted staging of the
classic Savoy Opera. The Mikado,
one of Gilbert and Sullivan's
most famous plays, concerns the
son of Japan's emperor (Nanki-
Poo) who falls in love with a girl
who is already engaged. The production by UBC's Gilbert & Sullivan society sees the play moved
from it's 19th century setting to
the modern age.
Edette Gagne, musical director of the production, calls The
Mikado "one of the best marriages of music and text that Gilbert and Sullivan ever did." Only
a very small portion of the text is
delivered through dialogue; the
majority of the plot and characterization is expressed through
large musical numbers. Though
thoroughly enjoyable, there may
be comprehension issues for
those not used to opera.
The production features an
impressive 24-piece orchestra
made up of UBC students, high
school students, and members
ofthe community. The orchestra
plays incredibly well together,
notably in the show's opening
Performances ranged from
merely decent to very good. The
biggest laughs were garnered by
Seth Little as Ko-Ko and Nicholas
Fitzgerald as Pooh-Bah, whose
on-stage chemistry is a joy to
behold. Also of note is Andrzej
Jeziorski, who plays Nanki-Poo
as a detached straight-man with
a wry sense of humour. The entire cast and chorus demonstrated impressive singing voices,
which were at their best in the
large musical number at the end
of Act I.
The choice to modernize the
play is strange, as it does not advance the work in any significant
way. Except for a few passing references to contemporary events
and the appearance of an electric
guitar on stage, very little of the
original play is updated. Indeed,
this attempt at modernization
seems quite inconsistent, often
featuring modern and period
costumes and props within the
same scene.
However, this incongruity is
not damaging to the production;
most viewers can be expected
to roll with the punches and accept this strange clash of time
periods. If they do, they will find
an entertaining production with
great musical backing and some
very funny moments.
Performances of The Mikado are being held at Kitsilano
Secondary School, as part of
an agreement that allows high
school students to play in the orchestra and aid in the production.
Upcoming shows are at 7pm on
Friday, February 1st, and 2pm on
Saturday, February 2nd. "21 February 1st, 2008
1200 pack Woodward for controversial God debate
An atheist's look at last
tuesday's packed debate
over the existence or nonexistence of God.
By Trevor Melanson
When William Lane Craig
crossed the border into Canada,
he, like everyone else, was asked
the intent of his visit. Craig responded that he was taking part
in a debate on the existence of
God, to which border security
replied, "You mean the one on
The debate, appropriately
titled Does God Exist?, made
its presence much known on,
and perhaps even off campus.
Its slick posters seemed to have
found their way to every corner
of UBC.
Beth Fisher, who helped organize and promote the event,
works for Campus for Christ, one
of the organizations involved in
hosting these debates. "Student
apathy is an epidemic," she said.
"I think it's very important to
ask questions...If I didn't believe
that my faith was defendable in
an academic arena, I wouldn't
believe it."
The evening, to the delight
of many, was hugely successful.
1200 attended, filling six lecture
halls (five of which received a live
video feed), and it is estimated
that over 200 more people were
turned away as tickets sold out.
The debaters were John R.
John R. Sho^.
. Debate Society President Stephen McCarthy,and William Lane Craig i
.ed off last Tuesday to a sold-out crowd.
Shook, who represented the atheist side, and William Lane Craig,
who argued for theism—more
specifically, Christian theism.
Shook founded many of his
arguments in naturalism. "Atheism has to be understood as being naturalistic about reality,"
he claimed. "We all agree that
the natural world exists. Do any
of the reasons that the super-
naturalist gives to additionally
believe in the supernatural work
"The   atheist   examines   all
of the arguments that the su-
pernaturalist has given," Shook
continued, "sees that they all
fail to provide even minimally
interesting, much less reasonable, support, and therefore
takes the conservative position,
that whereof there's insufficient
evidence we must refrain from
Craig felt otherwise. "I simply want to weigh the arguments
and the evidence," he said. "So
when I look at the arguments
that [Shook] gives on his website,
for example, I find them to be
very weak objections to religious
However, some audience
members were taken aback by
Craig's promotion of Christianity, rather than a more ambiguous notion of God.
"I do think that, objectively
speaking, one would have to
say that Christianity...has been
one ofthe most beneficial social
movements within the Western
world," said Craig in an interview on Monday. "Responsible
for literacy, modern university,
the birth to modern science,
modern nursing and hospitals,
care for the blind and the leprous
and others."
In regards to questions about
atrocities committed in Christianity's name, Craig responded
that these were "blemishes on
the canvas—exceptions that
prove the rule."
One young woman expressed
concern during the Q&A period,
spurred, perhaps, by Craig's
comment that the Holy Bible had
more evidence to support theism
than the Qur'an. She mentioned
that the debate had been promoted as theist against atheist,
not Christian against atheist.
/ think it's very important
to ask questions... If I
didn't believe that my
faith was defendable
in an academic arena,
I wouldn't believe it.
Campus for Christ
member/debate promoter
"Itwas his mistake to only say
that God manifests itself through
Christianity," said Josh Sorokin,
a fourth-year Arts student and
agnostic, "because that's a very
one-sided view."
Fisher admitted that "within
the theist realm there are many
different types of theists." However, she felt that, given the fact
that the debate was being hosted
by Christian organizations, it
should have been implicit that
the theist would, in fact, be a
In spite of this small controversy, most audience members
found the debate to be a very
rewarding experience. Those
who went continue to talk, and
quarrel into the evening.
"Regardless of the personal
philosophical stance you adhere
to, I think that most people
who attended the debate would
unanimously agree that it's just
great to be present at such an
intellectually stimulating gathering," said Boaz Saffer, a UBC
psychology student and atheist.
"I'm genuinely surprised that
we haven't seen more of such
debates on campus, and hope
to be able to attend more in the
future...It is precisely these sorts
of events that remind a person
why he or she decided to attend
university in the first place." vl
Save paper for things that really matter.
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Super Tuesdays, super fun.
Come to SUB 24 on Tuesday
for free lunch. Hang out with
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A Two Year Degree
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APPLY NOW for Fall 2008
Department of Computer Science
Application Deadline: Feb. 28, 2008
Contact Michele: (604) 822-5693 theubysseymagazine
February 1st, 2008
Men, Women swim to second at Canada West
by Jordan Chittley
The men's and women's swim
teams each raced to a second
place performance behind host
team Calgary last weekend at the
Canada West Championships.
The men came up well short
of Calgary's victory, finishing 357
points behind while the women
were only down by 37 points
come the end ofthe meet on Sunday night.
"The Canada West conference
is fairly lacking in competition,
Calgary tends to pick up a lot of
garbage points, a lot of points
that won't actually score at CI's
(Canadian fnteruniversity Sport
Championships)," said head
coach Derrick Schoof.
He attributes the big margin of victory on the men's side
to the loss of many influential
fifth-year swimmers from last
year including Olympian Brian
Johns. In addition, Scott Dickens
and Matt Hawes have decided to
forgo their university eligibility
this season to solely focus on the
upcoming Olympics in Beijing
therefore they were not competing at this meet. While teams can
bring 18 swimmers to compete in
the meet, UBC only had 12 men,
allowing Calgary to pick up many
points toward the bottom of each
"Because of the standard that
we hold for the athletes to get on
to our team, we are not willing
to compromise our standard or
the integrity of the program just
to fill in numbers the numbers,"
said Schoof.
Despite the loss, Schoof was
still pleased with his team's
"We performed really well
considering   it   was   in-season
swimming and it's not the end
game situation just yet for us,"
Schoof said, f think we are in a really good spot...I think that in 21
days from now we will be able to
light it up."
The Thunderbirds also left
Calgary with the highlights of
Annamay Pierse and Callum Ng
being awarded female and male
swimmers ofthe meet respectively, with each taking down three
Canada West records. Despite
not being tapered, Pierse clocked
records in the 50, 100, and 200-
metre breaststroke events, and
Ng clocked his in the 50 and
100-metre backstroke plus the
100-metre butterfly.
"f kind of came into this weekend unsure of what to expect because f hadn't swam a lot in Janu-
aryduetoinjury/'saidPierse. "But
I was able to get into the pool and
put out some really solid swims
and solid results to ready myself
for the CfS championship."
"ft goes to show that those two
athletes have taken themselves to
whole another level with respect
to their swimming," said Schoof.
Another bright spot for the
Thunderbirds was the performance out of Martha McCabe,
who was honoured with rookie of
the year award.
The Thunderbirds now have
20 days to prepare for the CfS
competition that they will be
hosting. They will compete February 21-23 at the Thunderbirds
Aquatic Centre against teams
from across the country as they
look to win their eleventh straight
CIS championship.
"The team will swim faster in
three weeks," said Schoof. "We
swam very well, we just got outnumbered in the end. I'm quite
confident if we stay healthy and
stay on top of our game for the
next three weeks we will swim
much faster at Cf's."
That is where Schoof believes
both the men and women have a
chance to win another national
championship although he cautioned it will be much harder
for the men this year than the
"There is only one thing better than winning ten in a row. it's
winning 11 in a row." vl
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Congratulations to
thisyear's Ubyssey
writers who
made us proud at
the annual JHM
Student Journalism
Boris Korby, 1 st,
Sports Writing;
Joe Rayment, 2nd,
Features Writing;
Eric Szeto, 3rd,
Features Writing


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