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The Ubyssey Apr 7, 2006

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Friday, 7 April, 2006   THEUBYSSEY
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now playing
by Greg Ursic
When racing through the streets of
London isn't enough of a stimulant,
Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone)
takes matters into her own hands,
or more appropriately those of her
drugged partner's. Unfortunately
their little round of autoerotica climaxes in his death and her arrest
In order to secure bail Trammel
must undergo a psychological exam
to prove that she's not a danger to
herself or others. Enter Dr Michael
Glass (David Morrissey), a
past, who quickly falls in lust with
his charge. Soon after, the bodies
start hitting the floor.
1992's Basic Instinct was an
adrenaline-fueled B-movie masquerading as legitimate cinema
that boasted skanky bisexual babes,
dirty cops, fast cars, rough sex and
messy murders, and went on to
gross $ 120 million at the box office.
It also earned a spot in the pantheon of 'infamous movie scenes*
when Sharon Stone, a virtual
unknown, displayed her talents in
the famous cross-examination
sequence (wonderfully lampooned
on The Simpsons a decade later). A
sequel seemed like a no-brainer,
but no one except Stone was interested and the project lingered in
developmental limbo. Fourteen
years, a lawsuit (brought by Stone
against the producers) and two
bankrupt studios later and Basic
Instinct 2 has finally made it to the
big screen. Unlike fine wine, however, aging has not been a good
tiling in this instance.
Sharon Stone still has a killer
body—but thanks to repeated Botox
binges she's been left with a limit-
ed range of facial expressions
(essentially a perpetual sneer/grin
combination). Consequently the
devil-may-envy passion and allure
she exuded the first time around is
sorely lacking here: from her pointed barbs to her stilettoed shimmy,
it's obvious that she's trying too
hard to be cool. Morrissey's Glass,
meanwhile—a pasty milquetoast
lust-interest whose idea of wild sex
, is do^gy^i^rle—is the very model of
banaEj^ftod there is no chemistry
Thewhs is relegated to playing the
foul-mouthed   misogynistic   cop
with a grudge, who may be dirty
yet ultimately proves to be utterly
I fully expected Basic Instinct 2
to be a complete disaster and let's
just say I wasn't surprised: the
characters are poorly written, the
dialogue is stale, and the story is
rife with gaping plot holes. Most
importantly, the lurid intertvviiring
of raw sexuality and violence that
were the hallmarks of its predecessor—both were showcased in the
opening scene after all—are noticeably absent. Yet, like the proverbial car wreck, if you've seen the
original, you can't help rubbernecking if only to catch a glimpse
of the folly. If you find yourself
with nothing to do at 4am some
evening in July, check it out on
late-night cable. U
Join an innovative team where hard
work and initiative are recognized
and reivarded tenth opportunities for a
progressive career.
The City of Vancouver is currently
accepting applications for Operations
Workers (Labourers) in several of our
Engineering branches.
You must have: Grade 12 or
equivalent; labouring experience;
knowledge of safe work procedures;
ability to lift and push heavy
objects; ability to work outside in
all weather conditions; and a valid
BC Glass 5 Driver's Licence (Glass I
Driver's Licence, or Class 3 with air,
These are unionized positions (under
the jurisdiction of CUPE Local 1004).
Pay rate is $20.47 per hour.
Applicants being considered will be
required to take a pre-employment
medical with the City's medical
provider, at no cost to the applicant.
All applicants must complete an
Engineering Operations Application Form and can submit these
in person or by fax between 7:30 am
and 3:30 pm to:
Manitoba Works Yard
250 West 70th Avenue,
Vancouver, BC V5X 2X1
Attention: Yards Branch,
fax: 604.321.6728
To print the Engineering Operation
Application Form, or lav more details
on preferred qualifications, go to:
Vancouver, c a/j obs/
labourer s_06 .htm
The City of Vancouver is an equal opportunity
employer. We tliank all applicants* for their
imcr-*,st. however only those selected for an
interview will he contacted.
SUMMER? Southwestern Publishing is
interviewing tough, smart, goal-oriented
students. Gain experience, make over
$9000 and ser yourself apart from others.
ENGLISH? Wanr a high energy', exciting
environment to work inr Lacking
experience and training? Submit resumes
for review to Grew Borick-Cunningham
at greta.@ilac.com Opportunities available
ar International language Academy of
Canada for Summer 2006
'HAVE FUN* MAKE $$ All team &
individual sports, all water spores, hiking/
ONLINE ASAP www.campcobbossee.
BAKERY at West Pender needs the
following: Opening and Closing Staff,
Cashiers, Servers, Sandwich Makers and
Food Prep. Send vour resume to: Fax
604.638.3985 or Email info.pender@
3 serious-minded business students. My
business is exploding and I need help. If
you have the desire to make great money,
arc coachable and think you nave what it
rakes ro succeed...
Last summer, UBC students working
with Southwestern Publishing averaged
$12,000 in profit. Get experience and do
something different. 604-630-7975
SUMMER JOB!!!! Musqueam Golf &
Learning Academy, 3904 West 51st Ave.
Vancouver (minutes from UBC). NOW
HIRING Full Time & Parr Time
COOKS for busy 2006 GOLF season.
Please quote this ad 6V fax resume co
604.266.8288 or reply in person.
Renovated East Van Suite. Heat, internet,
washer/dryer, NS/NP. Parks, skytrain,
bus (BCIT, SFU, UBC). Excellent quiet
neighbourhood. $275/room. Homcsray
optional. Please call Peter: 778-882-3885
single room in four-bedroom apartment.
2 bathrooms. Spacious living room
and kitchen. All brand-new and fully
furnished. Access to cable and high-speed
internet. On campus. Call 604-8*12-1365.
Females only. Apply alone or with friends.
Place available: June 1st till end of August,
or portion thereof.
SUBLET. When: available May 1-August
31. Where: 3rd Ave and Blenheim. Why:
5 bedroom, fully furnished. 2 bath, 2
kitchen, dishwasher, washer/dryer,
beautiful view, deck and backyard, ]
block from bus stop, 10-15 min bus ride
to UBC or downtown, few blocks from
the beach, shopping on 4th, no smoking,
no pets. How: $505/mo (includes hear,
water, eictricity. Who: Call 778-389-1021
MOVING SALE. L-shaped beige
melamine desk with two bottom drawers/
three top drawers $60. Futon and frame
$45. Dragon boat paddle (used only one
season- like new) $35. Various new audio
tape series from Chuck Swindoll/Insighr
for Living Ministry $25-$35. Female ice
skates-size 8- like new $25. Call Maggie
150,000 km. Manual 5sp. Great
condition, little ext. wear. Aircare. Hard/
soft top. Bike/ski/board rack, Mp3/CD
player. $5000. Call Laura 604.290.2400
to help with essay research and writing.
www.custofnessay.com, 1-888-345-8295
PROOFREADING. Academic / business
/ personal. $25.00 per hr.,or by job.
Experienced. BA, PostBac.DipBus.Admin.
elsaf@telus.net (604) 255-5799
Drink & Grow Rich $$$.'!!
ADVENTURE! Teach English
Worldwide. Earn Money*. Get TF.SOL
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Puaranteed. To learn more, come ro a
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2941. globalresol.com
on-campus, student-owned, non-profit
bike shop! New & used bikes, parts,
storage accessories, bike repairs and bike
repair instruction, tool use, bike storage
and volunteer opportunities. On the
north side of rhe SUB. 604-827-7333.
per year (Sept dvrough Sept). Fully
equipped professional photo studio. All
you need is your digital or film camera.
Photosoc members also have access
to our state of the art, traditional .wet
lab (with free chemicals for processing
and enlarging) as well as mat cutting
facilities. Save hundreds of dollars, learn
how to take professional quality portraits
and have full control over your prints.
For only $65.00 per year you can gain
the skills and learn the process of a
professional level photographer. Also, we
are located in the basement of rhe SUB
(between the food co-op and copyright)
so drop by! Phone 604.822.4405, email
phorosocubc@gmail.com. www.ams.ubc.
ca/clubs/photosociety. SUB Room 26.
TO BE KIND. Support only non-animal
research, www.humaneseal.org
To place an ad or a
classified/ call
604-822-1654 or visit
Room 23 in the SUB
Friday, 7 April, 2006
Editorial Board
coordinating editor Jesse Marchand
news editors Paul Evans Sd Eric Szeto
news@ubyssey.be ca
culture editor Simon Underwood
culture@ubyssey.be. ca
sports editor Megan Smyth
features/national editor
Bryan Zandberg
photo editor Yinan Max Wang
production manager Michelle Mayne
production@ubyssey.be ca
volunteers Colleen Tang
research/letters Claudia Li
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University
of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday
by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous,
democratically run student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They
are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily
reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Sodety or the
University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in
The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Sodety.
Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein
cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission
of The Ubyssey Publications Sodety.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include
your phone number, student number and signature (not for
publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions.
ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the
editorial office of The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done
by phone. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over300 words but
under 750 words and are run according to space."Freestyles" are
opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be
given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is
time sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of
the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right to edit
submissions for length and clarity.
It is agreed by a!! persons placing display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an
advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the
UPS will not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS
shall not be responsible for slight changes or typographical errors
that do not lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax: 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.bcca
business manager Fernie Pereira
ad sales Bernadette Delaquis
ad design Shalene Takara
"This is the last masthead ever to roam this school year!"
said Michelle Mayne.Tm outta here," replied Jesse
Marchand."l will never coordinate an issue ever again!
Douche!" shouted Eric Szeto."l resent being called Pootie
Tang!" pouted Colleen Tang."lt's like Hellen, with a K,"said
Kellan Higgins. Andrew MacRae, George Prior and
Champagne Choquer gave each other a look, and then
carried on laying out pages.") am NOT just an asian girl,"
said Gaudia Li. What? You're not?" asked Bryan Zandberg.
"Bzay, don't be so sleazay," replied Boris Koroy.'Meow!"
responded Carolynne Burkhofder."Hot shoes! exdaimed
Megan Smyth.1 am ok,"said Paul Evans/Basil Expo."You
students are all crazy," stated Greg Ursic Levi Bamett nodded in aqreement.'Photo Time!" demanded Yinan Max
Wang."0h yeah..." replied Jesse Ferreras.'Off to Japan I
go," said Matt Hayles. Unfortunately Caroline Chuang,
CandaceVallantin,Kian Mintz-Woo, Jason Webb, Carol
Domanko, Melissa Woodside, Mike Huvwitz, Lisa Cooper,
Michael Kenacan, Amanda Stutt, Jacklyn Chang and Corey
Sine did not appear for black peas and okra but we
appretiate them anyways (the black peas and okra, that
is.) And we love you Simon Underwood.
editorial graphic Yinan Max Wang
University      Canada Post Sales Agreement
Press Number 0040878022 ^^^^^y^^^^5^?w^^^^^^^^^Sn^5^s^^55§
THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
Culture 3
Sarah Silverman's comedy may be funny
but it's certainly not for everyone
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
Vancity Theatre
April 8
by Greg Ursic
So what's a nice Jewish girl, whose
sister is a rabbi no less, doing
telling jokes about the Holocaust?
Making people laugh. Silverman
cut her comedy teeth writing for
Saturday Night Live, and has dabbled in acting on TV (Greg the
Bunny) and film (ironically her
most memorable role was as the
shrewish girlfriend in School of
Rock), as well as having carved out
a loyal audience on the stand-up
circuit. But she didn't achieve
widespread recognition until an
infamous joke about racism on
Late Night With Conan O'Brien
drew the ire of the Media Action
Network for Asian Americans.
Despite the ensuing hate campaign, Silverman refused to be
cowed or soften her act. If Jesus is
Magic is any indication it seems to
have steeled her resolve.
Petite, attractive, possessed of a
soft-spoken demeanor (some of her
best lines are practically afterthought whispers) and sporting a
healthy self-deprecating streak,
Silverman is charismatic and dis-
arming. This in turn grants her further creative license to be outra
geous, something that she takes full
advantage of. Yet, despite some
stunningly inappropriate statements that left me utterly gobsmacked (and there were more than
a few), Silverman is more than a
simple foul-mouthed comic—she
clearly sets out to provoke both
laughter and reflection, highlighting the absurdity of her statements.
After ripping through myriad
stereotypes, she notes pointedly "we
make fun of people we're not afraid
of." Obviously she's not scared of
many people. Too bad she doesn't
have a healthy fear of music.
Silverman stitches her act
together with a collection of musical
numbers, most of which fall flat, are
distracting and strangle the
momentum of her monologue.
Moreover, why they chose not to
edit out the impotent "backstage
diva" skits or the roadie masturbating offstage is a total mystery.
Silverman's greatest sin however is
that she delivers a weak wrap up
and goes out with the crickets.
If you're a Sarah Silverman fan
or like your comedy with an edge
(preferably razor and with a slice of
lemon), you are likely to enjoy Jesus
is Magic and will laugh in spite of
yourself—despite its faults. If, however, you are PC or easily offended,
do not see this movie—a dozen audience members stormed out of the
screening that a friend of mine
attended. You've been warned. IB
'■$". ^:r^M&^ripf;^
Dark comedy gets lucky with clever dialoque
April 7
Now playing
by Greg Ursic
Slevin is having the mother of all bad
days, losing his girlfriend, apartment
and job in one fell swoop. In the
hopes of regrouping, he heads to
New York to spend some quality time
with a buddy only to get mugged stepping off the subway, proving that the
axiom "bad luck comes in threes" can
be further pluralised. Before you can
say "things can't get any worse," they
do when Slevin is mistaken for his
friend, who happens to be heavily in
debt to some unsavoury gangster
types that also happen to be sworn
enemies. Adding insult to his assorted injuries, Slevin suddenly finds
himself thrust in the middle of a
looming gang war and destined for
the discomfort of No Man's Land.
The question remains whether or not
he's smarter than his mouth. And
let's not forget the cold-blooded assassin who'has taken a distinct (hshking
to our poor, put-upon protagonist
While I'm not one to heap accolades on cable television, we can
undoubtedly thank Turner Classics
Movies for the resurgence in the popularity of film-noir (two of my friends
are currently on the 12 step program). A spate of films mcluding the
deliriously devilish Kiss, Kiss, Bang
Bang, and the stylish Sundance hit
Brick have paid homage with their
own special twists of dark tongue-in-
cheek humour, Mobius strip-style
plotlines and rapid fire pacing, wows
discerning movie-going audiences in
the process. Lucky Number Slevin
deserves its own special place among
the filmnoir revival.
Josh Hartnett breaks out of his cinematic slump as Slevin, the titular
hero of the piece, the proverbial sucker who can't seem to get an even
break. Hartnett relies on solid acting
rather than falling back on his boyish
charms to get by, dexterously finessing his  way through tongue-tied
prone   dialogue   and   subtle  plot
points. Another surprise performance comes from Lucy Liu who plays
against type as the sweet love interest
next door—who ever thought she
could carry off vulnerable and cute
without    seeming    disingenuous?
Surely not me. Sir Ben Kingsley is
excellent as The Rabbi, a calculating
gangster with a wry sense of humour,
while Morgan Freeman's calm, professional exterior belies the malice
that lies beneath The Boss' surface.
Rounding out the cast is Bruce Willis
who wrings the most out of his brief
appearance as a man of few words
who prefers to let his assassinations
speak for themselves.
Unlike its predecessors, Slevin is
not averse to bloodshed—indeed, several characters are dispatched in
splashes of crimson in the film's
opening sequence, yet there is a
stylised quality to the carnage. This
attention to detail is mirrored in the
cleverly scripted dialogue, wherein
few words are wasted in the telling
and subtle turns of phrase reveal
essential plot points. If your attention
wanes for even a moment you risk
being left behind once the seemingly
straightforward ease of mistaken
identity* veers off on a different tack.
While it relies on the occasional
gimmick, Lucky Number Slevin is a
clever little film that doesn't take
itself too seriously. It's a studied
blend of dark comedy, cerebral musings and messy mishaps that is thoroughly enjoyable. If you like a little
fibre in your cinematic diet, grab a
fork and dig in. II
Persistence of Vision
showcases best of UBC film
Festival has everything from samurai to drama
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
April 28-29
by Carol Domanko
UBC Film Production students will
show audiences that they've got
what it takes to make exciting, professional, and inspiring films at
the 17th Annual Persistence of
Vision (POV) Film Festival on April
28 and 29, when their 17 short
films will be shown to the public
for the first time.
The festival is a student-run,
student-funded operation with the
aim of exhibiting students' work
and giving film hopefuls the
chance to meet industry professionals. According to third-year
student Terry Boake, however, it is
far more important to show the
works for one's own self-satisfaction as opposed to garnering attention from possible producers. "We
make films for an audience, and
opportunities like POV gives us
that audience."
In the past, several of UBC's film
students have gained recognition at
national and international film festivals following their premieres at
POV. This is why students, particularly fourth years, put so much energy into making sure that the POV is
well-funded,  well-organized,   and
What can movie-goers expect to
see at POV?
A complete list of films can be
found at
tto://www.film.ubc.ca/pov, but let's
just say you'll get everything from
witty, dialogue-based dramas to
exciting action movies with blood
and samurai.
"My film is a drama called The
Dinner Party," explains Boake, "[it
looks] at expectations gone awry,
and how assumptions can cause the
most dramatic miscommunica-
tions. It is a screenplay film, so
don't expect anything flashy. [It's]
just a story."
Like all of the other submissions,
Boake's film must wrap up at under
ten minutes, including the credits.
This can mean a lot of heartbreak in
the editing room but Boake says,
"Although it isn't my forte, the
process is definitely the most exciting. It's the chance to see the product come to life in front of you. It's
the moment when you can decide
whether or not certain things
worked, or didn't work. When it
works, it's the most rewarding
moment of the entire process."
On April 29, all their hard work
will pay off when a panel of professional judges will bestow groups
with awards donated by local sponsors to go towards their next
projects, if
'&Z&2 iSH'vSS* li-rc;*
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Friday, 7 April, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
One Performance Only!
.  ■>:    S "i*
Chan Oentre - Lelus Studio THeatre
6265 crescent road (UBC campus)
Tuesday, April 11
8:00 pm
"A subtle sense of interplay makes these
classical-tinged guitar duets a pleasure
to the ears."
Editor, Download.com
tickate : $22.50 ($15.00 students/seniors/low income)
available through ticketmaster: 604.280.3311
for more information visit www.rosettoQuitar.com
or call the Chan Centre at 822.2697
gtosowojn Scottish play translates to old Japan
Come on down to Room 23
in the SUB for a chance to snag a FREE TICKETS
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■TWO '«EbE^:dF-'iB':REQUiffEir'- TldKETS:lWAll^^AT'ilCKETM-^tEii:1)R':!N-^FiiE StVOEIiT-UNIONSUiLbiHG'.-
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Fly into London and back from:
VENICE $698*
(FREE stopover in London allowed on return flight)
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ATHENS $848*
(FREE stopover in Frankfurt/Munich/Zurich allowed on return flight)
Depart by May 18, return good for one year with flexible change fees.
Taxes jind surcharges not Included. Student/Youth eligibility. Fares are air only. Vancouver return
departures. Prices may differ depending on departure/return date. More f nfo available from Travel Agent.
Travel CUTS is owned and operated by the Canadian Federation of Students.
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Samurai! Festival
at Pacific Cinematheque
April 3
by Kian Mintz-Woo
Pacific Cinematheque is holding a
spring Samurai! retrospective to
explore some of the most famous
films of this influential genre. Of
course, samurai have directly and
implicitly affected many modern
movies such as Kill Bill and Star
lord, struggles with both his ambitions and those of his wife to make a
spirit's prophecy come true.
The universality of Macbeth is
revealed through the parallels created by Kurosawa. What sets this adaptation apart, however, is his visual
acuity. Kurosawa is true to the spirit
of Shakespeare but he reveals this
through illustrative clues that
emphasise the drama of the Bard's
text. Kurosawa has the forest-spirit
turn a spindle, which emphasises
the cyclical nature of his prophecy
and the story. After this encounter,
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Lucas is on record for his debt to
Kurosawa and chanbara sword fighting was featured prorninently in the
Kill Bill series.
Throne of Blood (1957) is being
screened at the festival. This landmark film is Akira Kurosawa's adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It
follows the basic story of the Scottish
play (with Macduff notably absent)
as Washizu (Toshiro Mifune), a war-
and forest, emphasising the chaotic
and confused nature of his mind.
The beauty and fluidity of Throne of
Blood's ending has directly influenced countless other directors. The
epic nature of this scene must be
seen to be understood: it remains
one of the most poignant climaxes
in movie history.
Throne of Blood, however, does
not directly displace Macbeth from
Scotland. The film has many distinct
Japanese elements, including some
scenes that borrow from the tradition of Noh Theatre. In one of these
scenes, Asaji (Isuzu Yamada) as
Washizu's wife dances to Noh music
in a bare room, creating a surrealistic effect. Since most of the film has
a very natural, realistic style, this is
a jarring sequence. This jarring
effect adds to the film; however,
since the scenes that involve Asaji
and Washizu include Noh elements,
this adds to the stiffness and formality of their relationship, which belies
the tension between them.
The strength of Kurosawa's
adaptations he in his ability to convince the audience of the reality
of his scene while recreating
Shakespeare's intense drama—you
feel as if you are uniquely in
Shakespeare's world as well as
15 th century feudal Japan. It is an
exciting work and the Samurai! festival holds many other treasures
worth a viewing. II
Kurosawa inspires at Samurai Film festival
Samurai! Festival
at Pacific Cinematheque
March 29
by Jesse Ferreras
No samurai festival would ever be
complete without an exhibition of
the work of legendary director Akira
Kurosawa. For those who were initiated into the cult of samurai films
before Tom Cruise's 2003 epic The
Last Samurai, Kurosawa's masterpiece The Seven Samurai undoubtedly springs to mind as a seminal
work of the genre, a film that helped
set the standard for cinematic epics
and westerns to come. John Sturges'
The Magnificent Seven is a remake
of Kurosawa's film and Sergio
Leone's spaghetti westerns are
alleged to have been directly
inspired by his films.
This story is simple. A peasant
village comes under the constant
threat of bandits who vow to sack
the village once the barley is ripe.
The villagers are desperate and
defenseless, lacking the wherewithal
to fend off the horde. Heeding the
advice of a village elder, a number of
peasants venture out to the big city
to hire six "ronin* (samurai without
masters), who they plan to pay with
meals and shelter, to help defend
their village.
Eventually, the villagers find
some luck in the form of a master,
Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura),
who has lost confidence in his own
abilities, but impresses the villagers
when he saves a young girl from a
kidnapping while disguised as a
priest With the help of Shimada, the
villagers eventually muster seven
"ronin* to defend their village,
among them a drunk, Kikuchiyo (the
hilarious Toshiro Mifune) and a
young man, Katsuhiro (Isao
Kimura), who has yet to develop his
First greeted by the villagers
with ambivalence, the samurai
spend much of the film devising
the way they will defend the village—their efforts culrninate in a
spectacular, triumphant battle that
has been entered in the annals of
cinematic history. It is little wonder
why The Seven Samurai has sur
vived so prominently—Kurosawa
combines humour, drama and
some spectacular action into an
epic that for many audiences will
seem something of a trek—at over
three hours, it is sometimes a bit of
a slog—but will never deter its audiences from enjoying some of the
best action in cinema.
The film's climactic battle
scene is a triumph of duty and
strategy for the samurai, eventually working in a tight unit with the
villagers to fend off a merciless
common enemy while always
observing a code of friendship and
honour that at the film's end
makes them heroes. While its
visuals and sound are now somewhat dated, The Seven Samurai
enthralls modern audiences with
all the elements required for a
great time at the box office-
action, humour and heartfelt
drama—in equal doses. Though
screenings are finished at Pacific
Cinematheque's retrospective, it is
definitely worth picking up the
Criterion edition on DVD.
The Samurai! Festival runs until
April 17. n
S-JM- THEUBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
Culture 5
Purcell's tragic epic of love departed
presented by Vancouver Symphony
Orchestra with UBC Orchestra
at the Chan Centre for the
Performing Arts
March 31st to April 1st
by Caroline Chuang
My sister, friends and I went to a
semi-staged Vancouver Symphony
opera at the Chan Centre last week
that was backed by the stellar UBC
orchestra ensemble. I feel lame taking a major that involves reading
and using pen and paper when
groups of students at our school actually perform choral epics and operas
with a full-fledged opera company.
The beauty of the opera is its collaborative nature, involving the coordination and teamwork of so many talented people.
The lead-up to Dido and Aeneas
was rife with feverish expectation —
we were all supposed to dress up, as
this was a classy way to spend time
together, and what's more, we were
going to be treated to a rarely-performed Baroque gem and first-ever
British opera (1689) written by
Henry Purcell. The libretto is adapted from Virgil's classical epic The
Aeneid and includes six scenes capturing the tragedy of the star-crossed
love between Dido, the Queen of
Carthage, and Aeneas, a Trojan fated
to found Rome.
Aeneas lands in Carthage and
meets Dido after being exiled from
Troy following its destruction by the
Achaeans in the Trojan War. Aeneas
eventually flees to Rome when
reminded of his fate and leaves
Dido to sing her galvanizing aria,
"When I Am Laid to Rest" or "Dido's
Lament." This is sung before Dido
takes her own life because she has
been forsaken.
Dido is played by the talented
Susan Platts whose voice is so supple, awe-inspiring, and genuine, it is
heartbreaking to hear her sing the
lines, "When I am laid to earth/May
my wrongs create/No trouble in thy
breast/Remember me, but ah! forget
my fate." The singular execution of
this difficult aria by the Victoria-born
mezzo-soprano made Dido's lament
palatable. Wearing a bright violet
dress with a gold embroidered stole,
she accomplished the unenviable
feat of courting the audience to
indulge in the pain, sorrow, and
anguish of tainted love.
Dido and Aeneas is a tragic love
story, a rare theme for a Baroque
opera, but is perfectly suitable to
the melodramatic underpinnings of
the period.
I found the overture boring.
Having never seen an opera outside
the movies, I expected the singing to
commence right away. Then my
friend informed me that it was the
overture and I felt stupid. The only
instruments were strings, including
many violins, some bass, and the
piano. The conductor Bramwell
Tovey was a suave maestro who
could saunter off the stage and come
back on cue to thundering applause.
The music stops all at once and the
auditorium becomes so quiet you
can hear a pin drop, then the various
instruments and singers blend in
perfect harmony again, but the syn-
chronicity is multi-layered, complex,
and seems effortlessly combined.
The opera didn't grow on me
until its completion. Dido's lament
provided the melodramatic emotional catharsis I had been expecting to
experience I sobbed and savoured
every moment of Piatt's rendering of
those lines, as pure and rare as her
faithfulness to her love. For Dido,
there could be no more possibilities
of future suitors or desperate trysts-
it was only Aeneas and he fled her to
pursue his destiny.
A surprise in the fibretto was the
appearance of sorceresses, which
are not in the original epic—they are
entertaining to watch, as they come
in a group of three, and the women
each contribute something of their
own personalities and singing styles
to add colour and visual interest to
the story. The head sorceress, played
by Rose Ellen Nichols, wore a bright
flarning red gown with a train that
had slits cut inside the bust, as well
as a long flowing scarf. She was a
powerhouse with her equally fiery
red lips and her bitchy lines, such as
"From the ruin of others our pleas
ures we borrow."
While in Italy, I visited La Scala,
the legendary opera house in Milan,
which is as melodramatic in terms of
its setting as the operas performed.
The Chan Centre, by contrast, did not
have the ambience that befits a night
of costume and a story of treachery
and ill-fated love. At any single
moment during the opera I could see
whoever was sitting in the balcony
above, or anywhere else, because the
theatre was fully lit. In retrospect, it
might have worked better if they had
dimmed all the lights to put the focus
on the stage and add more drama-you
can never get enough of it at the
As a result of this opera, I look
forward to experiencing operas on a
regular basis. It is a phenomenal
privilege that allows you to support
the VSO and enjoy some of the world-
renowned singers who perform with
them. Only next time I will most likely choose a more elaborately-staged
opera—one that is acted out, with
stage design, costumes, and dimmer
fighting. II
Anderson steals the show in inspired Beckett production
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
until April 23
by Jesse Ferreras
Just in time for Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday,
which the playwright claimed was April 13th,
1906 (both Good Friday and Friday the 13th), the
Arts Club Theatre Company has staged a spectacular production of the play that made the absurdist playwright famous, Waiting for Godot. Under
the direction of prominent Vancouver playwright
Morris Panych (7 Stories, The Dishwashers),
Beckett's absurdist masterpiece remains as
migrating on the stage as it does on the page,
without any attempt to make sense of the ambiguously constructed text. Panych and company
assemble an elaborate set and seasoned actors for
a production that emerges as a compelling,
although frustrating production, no less maddening than a study of the text in a course on modernist English literature.
The play, billed by the author as a "tragicomedy in two acts," is essentially the chronicle of a
static situation in which two vagrants, \fladnnir
(Vincent Gale, previously seen in the 2003
Vancouver   Playhouse   production   of  Harold
Pinter's The Caretaker) and Estragon (Quebecois
import Stephane Demers) are effectively stuck,
unable to transcend their situation. They inhabit
a grim landscape that, in this production, resembles the fallout of an industrial complex with a
rusted and broken fence, skids, a wooden spool
and a dead tree with branches so weak it could
not support them if they wanted to hang themselves. Estragon insists that they leave the place,
but \fladimir constantly reminds him that they
are waiting for Godot, an entity who is never seen
in the play but maintains control over their situation nonetheless. They are soon greeted by Pozzo
(Brian Markinson), a sadistic man who dominates
his servant Lucky (Peter Anderson, previously
seen in Panych's The Overcoat), who himself
never speaks  except for a single nonsensical
monologue which goes so far put of control that
the other characters must repress him.. Their situation is disturbed once more by the intervention
of a young boy (Cole Heppell), seemingly an envoy
from the enigmatic Godot, whose sole function is
to inform the vagrants that "Godot will not be
coming today, but surely tomorrow." Vladimir
and Estragon move stagnantly through these
motions twice, failing to make sense of a circular
situation that gradually draws them deeper into a
void they cannot escape.
Although it takes some time to get off the
ground. Waiting for Godot is an inspired production, not attempting to make sense of the text but
rather framing its various occurrences and visuals around the confusion. The set looks to be the
aftermath of a Northern England factory in the
Thatcher era while the actors are played by
French and English Canadians, perhaps to reflect
on the national linguistic barrier between Quebec
and Canada. Peter Anderson steals the show with
his portrayal of Lucky as a subservient, psychologically-disturbed figure, receiving raucous
applause from his single monologue that
breathes life into the show that never lets up
thereafter. Overall, Waiting for Godot is a spectacularly designed production that initially takes
time to find its footing, but once it does, it is a
challenging, yet enthralling spectacle. M
Alistair Macieod
hits the stage of
the Vancouver
Vancouver Playhouse
April 15-May 16
by Jason Webb
As this year's season comes to a
close at the Vancouver Playhouse,
come celebrate the end of another
grueling semester by seeing No
Great Mischief, the last show to
appear on its stage in 2006.
Adapted from Alistair MacLeod's
celebrated novel, the play is directed by Dean Paul Gibson and
includes an original score by M. J. ""*
Ross. The play promises to be a
grand, memorable production that
will leave you wanting to learn
Gaelic and then travel to the salty
Atlantic coast to hang out in the
local pubs.
In the story we travel alongside
three generations of the Clan
MacDonald as they emigrate from
Scotland's rocky shores to Cape
Breton Island and experience the
difficulties and triumphs the family encounters. The play focuses on
two brothers in the present:
Alexander, who is a dentist and
family patriarch and his alcoholic
older sibling Calum. The two
brothers allow us a view into the
family's past, employing humour,
tragedy and Celtic music live on
stage during the show to explore
themes of how culture and family
ties us together as human beings.
This production never slows
down, propelling the audience at
breakneck speed and doesn't
release its grip until the final
scene is over.
Using MacLeod's best-selling
novel for the production should be
exciting for both regular theatregoers and first time audiences.
The novel has won numerous
awards, including Fiction Book of
the Year and Author of the Year
from the Canadian Booksellers
Association Libris Awards. He is
well-known for his short stories set
on the grey and chilly Maritime
island of Cape Breton. The characters seem to overcome their bleak
environment to explore the confrontations we experience and to
which we sometimes succumb.
Preview performances run
from April 15 to 19 and the regular run begins on April 20. The
Playhouse also offers a student
discount if you show a valid student card at Ticketmaster or at the
Playhouse box office. SI fi Culture
Friday, 7 April, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
^<tf a M writt^
Rock Swings
Paul Anka
Verve Records
by Mike Hurwitz
I've never met Paul Anka, but
I wouldn't even know what to
say to a 60-something that in
my    mind    is     somewhere
between Neil Diamond on The
Last Waltz and Neil Young on
acid doing Elvis in the Tropicana
of the old Vegas. Instead of sitting
down with the Canadian crooner
in one of Tony Danza's piano bars
listening to him sing show tunes,
I've decided to write about one of
my newest hero's  albums,  Rock
Swings.  So,  without further  ado,
this one's for you, Paul:
It all happened in a Toronto
basement. The same relative who
made me sit and listen to Frank
Zappa's Freak Out when I was 13
threw Anka's newest album onto
the stereo. I was made to sit in the
special chair—it was perfectly
spaced near the speakers for the
optimal acoustic transfer of sound
vibrations from eardrum to brain.
My cousin handed me the remote
and told me to press play as soon as
he left the room, 'So I could be
alone with Paul.*
For the weeks leading up to me
sitting in that chair, Anka's latest
had come
to be commonplace mock
ery among me and
my sadistic family mem
ber: 'Anka covers Soundgar
den? Nirvana? Oasis? Spare me
the ugliness and just release the
fucker already so I can get my latest fix of serotonin.' Now the time
had come, and I was alone with my
neurotransmitters, remote control
and the original Canadian Idol.
What a beautiful way to start a
Sunday afternoon.
Even Bon Jovi and Richie
Sambora would have been shaking
in their I'm still stuck in 1988' guitar solo* when the first notes of
their Y2K composition blasted out
from Anka's supporting orchestra.
'This ain't a song for the broken-hearted.* Ouch Paul, you hurt
m e
way you
love so
much. And
you obviously ain't:
because you—much like
David Hasselhoff—are free of
pain, free of being held back from
criticism, age or creative blockage;
you, Paul Anka, are doing a cover
album of rock songs, and you are
singing your first track like a bat
out of Meatloaf s hell. We are hearing your voice when you're shouting out loud: 'It's your hfe and it's
now or never,* but that isn't to say
I'm not laughing out loud.
Just think about it for a second whether you like him or
not: here's a guy with 60 plus
years   under   his   belt,   God
knows how many years after
most people thought his teen-
idol career would dry up, and
he decides the next move in
his  career path is  to  do  an
entire   album  of rock  'standards'    from    the    last   two
decades in a style that's been
dying  a  slow  death  since  the
start of the Second World War.
And bebop? It's got Viagra ad written all over it whether he's on the
stuff or not.  It's these kinds  of
musical geniuses that make films
like Spinal Tap possible! But even
if he's 'trying to live while he's
alive," I could still hardly contain
my laughter.
So naturally, I skipped ahead a
track to get my next dose of mirth
and settled on track three. As the
CD player took its time to line up
the laser this time, I was overwhelmed with images in my mind
of a perspiring Sylvester Stallone
in his youth, running stairs and
inspiring millions of youth in boxing rings, basketball courts, hockey rinks and any other sport which
was starved of a pre-game pump-
up soundtrack to make you ram it
into fifth. Yes, that's right: he sings
Journey's 'Eye of the Tiger.* IB
ounds are better in French with Dilated Peoples and Beth
Jane Birkin
Capitol Records
by Melissa Woodside
Produced by Renauld Letang, Jane
Birkin's new album Fictions
proves to be a success for the
London-born beauty. The former
actress employs a team of seven
songwriters who masterfully
orchestrate their original pieces.
The album also borrows covers of
songs from Neil Young's Harvest
Moon and Tom Waits' Alice and
spins them with a unique touch.
Her collection can be described
as a collection of sultry tales.
Followers of Birkin adore her
specifically for her innocently fragile voice that connects the twelve
songs in Fictions. Birkin's trademark voice teams up well with
other voices. In the past she has
collaborated with her former
husband, Serge Gainsbourg, and
her voice harmonises perfectly
with his.
Although she sings mostly in
English, her songs in French carry
a theme throughout the album, but
even her English songs make you
feel as if you are sipping a latte in
a Paris cafe. I recommend Jane
Birkin to anyone who wants to
experience something entirely
unique, or to anyone who craves an
experience *en francais.*
Beth Orion
Comfort of Strangers
Kian Mintz-Woo
I first heard Beth Orton sing in
William Orbit's laid-back 'Water
from a Vine Leaf* and so I, like
many others, know her only
through her electronic collaborations. Orton is mostly well-known
for her work with the Chemical
Brothers and Beck. So Comfort of
Strangers comes as a great shock.
In contrast to the overproduction
of a Chemical Brothers track, this
album is sparsely arranged. Let us
all thank the producer Jim
O'Rourke (of Wilco fame). He has
the confidence to let Orton's
vocals show through. He allows
the entire disc to make you feel
like you are in an intimate setting
with Orton. It's just O'Rourke on
bass, a drum player, and a vocalist
with confidence and soul.
After the attention grabbing
first track 'Worms,* with the opening tine 'Worms don't dance/They
haven't got the balls,* the relaxed
folk sound of Orton is immediately
established. Most of her lyrics are
unpretentious, if a trifle characteristic and vague ('An illusion is
hope born from fear/But now I'm
right back here*) but it really doesn't matter since her vocals often
lose the distinctness of her words.
This album is all about Orton's
delivery, which is also unpretentious but undeniable. It takes time
for the subtlety of this disc to penetrate but there is a strong musi-
cality within this collection.
The Guardian UK said that these
songs are unlikely to be heard as
ringtones since you need to hear
Orton in her entirety. I agree, that
you won't find these songs as ring-
tones, but for a different reason.
Not only is this a compliment to
Orton due to the overproduced
insta-hits that are heard as ring-
tones, but it's evidence that, like
Orton, these songs are measured
in such a way that they require
time to be heard and re-heard
before they begin to show.
Dilated Peoples
Capitol Records
by Kian Mintz-Woo
Dilated Peoples are often labeled
conscious rap, but their new
album, 20/20, lacks many political
or topical references. Those that
are present ('George got a few
more years/That's a couple wars
there/And a couple more here*)
are unfocused. In the age of Jon
Stewart, that doesn't even come
close to throwing a barb t at
George Bush.
My conclusion is that being
labeled 'conscious rap,* is now
essentially negative. All you have to
do is avoid talking about guns and
hos. Once you eliminate these
themes, you are 'conscious.*
So what is Dilated concerned
with? The absence of Kanye West
(after he produced their last single, 2004's 'This Way') shows that
they want to get back to basics.
This is a group that lets their DJ,
Babu, have his own track just to
show off his skills ("The One and
The album begins with a
cliched phone call intro that
should have been cut. The lead single, 'Back Again,* features some
excellent production by The
Alchemist, with a cyclical verse
structure. The album works best
when there are catchy samples,
such as those in 'Kindness for
Weakness,* where Kweli drops a
smooth verse ("A fool can't play
the wise, but the wise can act a
fool*) and Babu performs some
effortless mixing.
Too often, however, the songs
are not memorable. 'Another
Sound Mission* and 'The Eyes
Have It* feel like B-sides mixed in
with some strong tracks. Babu's
moments are ultimately the most
powerful in this collection, but
remain unchallenging for casual
listeners. Both Rakaa's and
Evidence's verses lack the
strength of their contemporaries:
too unusual for the pop rap set and
not clever enough for the conscious set.  II
(.■■■ ■ ■
is .i
I THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
Feature 7
P:ano and friends stopped in at The Hive studio last weekend to record an album before heading off
toward general fame and glory.This spring will see the band touring with the Books and then taking
off to Europe, where they will be featured in Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival.
Catch the ever-evolving and understated brilliance that is P:ano at Richard's on Richards, April 22.
ton*. Zp'X, > "** vv ** **fv^** '^'-"^ *» **#.**
Do not miss this opportunity!
Be quick and apply if you are interested as the number of the spaces assigned is limited.
No experience and certificates are needed.
Would you like to go to China and learn more about this mysterious
oriental country with as many as 5000 years of history? Walk on the
Great Wall in the footsteps or*old warriors. Stroll through the Forbidden
City where once no commoner dared enter. Visit Window of Mainland
China — Guangdong, the southernmost province with the strongest
economic vitality and fastest development speed in China. Immerse
yourself into the memorable Guangzhou of a unique past and a dynamic
future, and taste the natural flavours of the "best food in China"? If yes,
we certainly can help you make it! We are now organizing groups of Canadian people to go to China, learn
Chinese and teach simple and conversational English to students there during this forthcoming summer vacation.
.. ,   ........   ..,..,.  ....   .  _ :^/\:::0:^W'''y::--M::^(:r:'-
,iim!9nt>'>M«HiM ft Sports
Friday, 7 April, 2006   THEUBYSSEY
Don't take me out to the ball game
by Alvin Lui
I took on my first story as a sports-
writer last Saturday, when I covered the baseball game between
the T-Birds and the Concordia
Cavaliers who had come up from
Portland. Needless to say, I had no
idea how I was going to go about
"covering* a game, let alone write
a summary of the game itself.
But hell, I wasn't going to go down
without a fight, so I brought my notebook along, thinking foolishly that
this was exactly what the professionals did—write down every single
thing that happened in. the game.
Nothing came out of that, but a sore
hand and several pages chockfull of
useless information, one note standing head and shoulders above the
rest "the pitcher slipped."
I came to the conclusion that
there was no way I was going to be
able to write a proper summary of
the game; a description of my first
time experience would have to suffice. On top of that, I was issued a
media pass so that I could get in a few
words with the coach and maybe the
But then halfway through the
game, I realized that some of these
guys could possibly be going to the
pros a la Jeff Francis of the Colorado
Rockies, so I chickened out, thinking
they probably wouldn't have time for
a rookie sportswriter.
I was expecting a bigger crowd to
be at Nat Bailey that day, but as it
turned out, I had my pick of where I
wanted to sit Everywhere was pretty
much the same, dusty seats and bird
droppings on several of them. So I
picked a clean seat, relatively speaking, waited for half an hour for the
game to start, and then began recording every at-bat, every out, every
detail of every inning. In any case, it
was a classic game of small ball:
defense and pitching dominated the
game, and runs were few and far
UBC ended up on top, eking out
the win by a score of 3-2. It was a nice
game, and there was even a double
play by UBC in the third inning to get
their pitcher out of a jam.
I found out that the series was
actually a doubleheader but I didn't stay, deciding that the editors
of the Ubyssey would probably be
throwing up their hands wondering what to do with my report on
the first game anyway (see above).
So I left, managing to hit a giant
pothole on my way out of the park.
But don't get me wrong, I think I
could learn to like this gig as a
sportswriter. II
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1 THEUBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
Sports 9
shopping spree
by Brian McLennon
The number of cross-border shoppers between Canada and the United
States has increased over the past few
years. But recently, those with fat wallets looking for deals are not
Canadians heading to Seattle's outlet
^aaxtalls,- but American coaches from
NCAA athletic institutions looking for
our top athletes.
Every year, thousands of top
prospects from across Canada are
awarded handsome athletic scholarships to compete at universities and
colleges south of the border. With
over 4,000 post-secondary institutions, the US can offer a large amount
of athletic scholarships in a wide variety of sports.
The most common athletic scholarships are awarded in basketball,
football, and track and field. Just like
a buffet, the choices of scholarships
seem unlimited as Canadian high
school athletes can earn a debt-free
education in eveiything from bowling to fencing and even rifling.
However, the migration is no
longer just affecting Canadian universities; it is now affecting the governing body for university sports in
Canada. In the March 6 issue of
Maclean's, in an article titled, "March
Madness, Here We Come," Nancy
MacDonald explains UBC's plan to
reduce the amount of Canadian athletes from crossing the border to the
US. In an "if you can't beat them join
them" attitude, UBC has already
begun wooing the NCAA, the governing body for inter-university athletics
in the US, to consider having their
Canadian cousins "join in all their
reindeer games."
And why not?
The governing body for interuniversi-
ty athletics in Canada is the Canadian
Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Their persistent stubbornness regarding athletic scholarships has resulted in
many universities seeking answers to
the question of athlete funding.
The topic of athletic scholarships
in Canada is nothing new. It has been
a topic of heated debate for decades
and has always created a division
between CIS member institutions.
Some institutions (Ontario) believe
there should be a balance between
academics and athletics, and that
awarding athletic scholarships would
upset this balance. Others claim that
by adopting the NCAA model, it
would help ease the strain on stu-
dent-athletes—many of whom have
faced rising tuition fees over the past
few years. The theory is that increasing athletic scholarships would help
keep top athletes  at home,  thus
the NAIA National Champions in
2003 and the women's soccer team
won it all in 2000. However, in 2001,
SFU's basketball programs opted to
withdraw their membership from
improving the quality of competition
throughout the CIS.
In support of this model, Simon
Fraser University (SFU) said that they
would be willing to "defect* and join
UBC in the NCAA should the opportunity present itself. SFU, which still
has the majority of their athletic programs (cross country, golf, soccer,
softball, swimming & diving, track &
field, and wrestling) competing in the
NCAA sister operation—the National
Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics (NAIA)—has seen some diss-
apointments when competing south
of the border.
SFU women's softball team was
the NAIA and rejoin the growing
Canada West conference of the CIS.
Increasing travel costs and erratic
scheduling were cited as the main
reasons for the controversial move.
Some former SFU players regretted
not being able to compete for a
National Championship—a lost
opportunity for a program that for
years had one of the best men's basketball teams in Canada.
So how will UBC overcome these
barriers to ensure survival at the big
dance? According to recent reports,
UBC's fundraising and athletic budget totals approximately $4 million,
which is comparable to many of the
NCAA institutions that compete in
the Pacific Northwest and California.
UBC Athletic Director, Bob Philip has
had a couple of visits from NCAA officials to prove to them that UBC can
play with the big boys.
In recent exhibition games
against the traditional powerhouse
schools Georgia and Kansas State,
UBC defeated both teams, and have
recently won as many as four
games against NCAA Division I
schools. Even against the Kansas
Jayhawks, the Thunderbirds held
their own for much of the game. So
what is the hold up?
Well, for starters, the NCAA has
been somewhat reluctant to open its
borders to include non-American
members. However, with two recent
visits to UBC's Vancouver campus, it
could mean that they are willing to
change their views. In addition, there
are several requirements for members who apply to the NCAA for membership, and officials need to ensure
that UBC can comply with these
Publicly, CIS officials are saying
that they hope UBC will remain a part
of the CIS. But when will the CIS wake
up and realise that some of the
schools aren't thinking along the
same lines? SI
Asian Library Open House
Asian Centre
April 22
A series of talks and workshops
about health and vitality, featuring
UBC professors and community
Pollay Prize Marketing
David Lam Amphitheatre
April 7,2pm
Speaker Marvin Goldberg addresses the issue of food advertising
and its influence on youth.
Poetry for AIDS
Cafe Deux Soleils
2096 Commercial Drive
April 24,8:30pm
Slam poetry and music by UBC
students in support of AIDS.
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text and photos by Candice Vallantin | LYON, FRANCE
cork that refused to go back into the
expensive bottle of red I'd just served to
.0 some high-class guest I tried not to
curse as the cork slipped through my fingers
and the wine spilled all over the counter. If
you're an avid wine drinker, you may have
noticed that plastic corks are becoming more
and more common even amongst popular bottles like Australia's Yellowtail label. So why are
these popping up all over the place and invading restaurants, bars and liquor stores?
A rumour running around the Vancouver
restaurant crowd alleges that cork is i-uniiing
out, but my skepticism lead me to search out
the truth in Portugal, where 50 per cent of the
world's cork oak is harvested. Experts here say
the culprit is the diminishing demand for natural cork and they're worried that its replacement will have a tragic impact, not only on the
economy, but on the fragile ecosystem as well.
Before traditional cork tops, oiled hemp was
used to seal bottles. This method wasn't very
efficient as it allowed gases to leak out and
change the wine's flavour. Some say the first
cork tops were found in Egyptians tombs and
were also used by the Ancient Greeks. But Dom
Perignon, the French sparkler himself, really
started the trend in 1695 and the deliberate cultivation of cork trees followed a bit later, in the
18th century.
Today, cork is harvested in southern France,
Spain, Morocco and Tunisia, but the majority of
the world's cork oak comes from Portugal. The
typical cork oak tree has a productive life span
of 150 to 200 years, and it will be cultivated
every nine years. An average tree will produce
110 pounds of raw cork material, which will
create 3000 corks on an annual basis—not your
average leaf-bearing hunk of wood. Which raises the question: how could this renewable
resource become sparse?
I spoke to Elisa Pedro, a representative from
APCOR, a Portuguese Cork Association with 300
member companies. APCOR currently leads the
world in the manufacture of cork so I asked
Pedro to help me get a grip on the situation.
According to her, there isn't a lack of cork.
Much to the contrary, the industry is growing.
"One Portuguese cork producer has a net
growth of about four to five per cent a year,
between natural regeneration and plantings,
versus natural mortality rate." Pedro explains.
She goes on to say that the industry's potential
in Morocco and Algeria is slowly being channelled thanks to social and political developments. Meanwhile, technical advances have
allowed the industry to create more cork stoppers out of the same amount of raw material.
So, regarding the rumoured cork shortage,
Pedro says, with a pun, that it just isn't true:
"It's easy to see that this argument does not
hold water."
But why are synthetic closures slowly taking
over? I went to a source on fine wine and spoke
to a sommelier in Lyon, France, the food capital
of the world to find out.
Ludovic Rey, a young sommelier whose stained
lips betray his un-moderated passion for wine
is quick to offer his take on the disappearing
cork situation. Rey believes a big factor is cost.
An average cork stopper these days can range
from ten to 40 centimes d'euro (or cents) in
France, so one can imagine the cost in Canada
with the conversion rate, plus the cost of import
to reach easily 70 cents Canadian. In comparison, a synthetic cork can be as cheap as eight or
nine cents.
Let's be serious though, the prices on the
wine list at your favourite restaurant will tell
you that a few cents are no object for a true
wine drinker. Which means the real culprit is
TCA (2,4,6 trichloroanisole), the nemesis of a
good bottle of red wine. Most simply, call him
'cork taint.'
An average tree will produce 110 POUNDS OF RAW
cork material, creating
3000 corks on an annual
basis. Which raises the question: HOW could this renewable resource become sparse?
Rey estimates that ten per cent of wine that
reaches his palate is tainted or 'corked/ which
means the wine has taken on an undesirable
taste traditionally attributed to the cork. This is
a touchy number in the wine industry and not
everyone would place the percentage of corked
bottles as high as Rey. The numbers range from
two to 12 per cent and the average consumer
might not even notice the difference.
The origins of TCA are highly contested,
though most agree it's produced by microbes
that grow in the air and many say the porous
quality of cork bark allow its growth. But
Pedro from APCOR takes the analysis farther:
"While cork can be a source of TCA in wines, it
is not the only possible source, as contamination can occur in wine barrels where the wine
is aged, in glass bottles contaminated by wooden pallets used in transportation and through
airborne contaminants. As such, there is
numerous anecdotal and scientific evidence
of TCA in wine bottles with screw caps, bottled
water, beer, spirits, soft drinks and packaged
food products. TCA can [be] found in many
food products."
Despite this evidence, many wine producers
have been searching for alternatives to traditional cork closures, which continue to be the
biggest culprit for TCA.
Jean Michel Gerin, a big name in the viticultur-
al industry in the Lyon region, produces a wide
range of wine products such as the rich Cote
Roti, a red that retails for 50 euros a bottle ($75
CND), to a sweet and fruity Syrah that goes for
five euros (around $7 CND). Gerin has already
begun using colourful synthetic corks for his
cheaper young wines, but is only at a trial stage
with his grand cru or high-end vintage bottles
that are intended for a longer stay in the cave,
or wine cellar.
At La Cave des Voyageurs, the quaint wine
bar Rey works for in Vieux Lyon, they're receiv
ing an ever-growing number or wines sealed
with plastic or synthetic tops. According to the
American Plastics Council, plastic corks represent five per cent of the market Add to that the
percentage of other synthetic closures and
screw tops, and we can see that the market for
natural cork closures is diminishing.
But is there a difference between these
alternative tops and real cork?
"On young wines that are meant to be consumed immediately or within the year, no, and
it really isn't in our interest to seal them with
real cork/ says Rey. As for older wines, Rey
doesn't really know...yet
"There is a big, big problem with corked bottles, but to deal with this problem...it's just too
early to see how plastic affects aging wine."
Rey only expects to know the effects of
alternative corks as early as five to seven
years from now.
Cork oak forests feed more than the local
wine-bottling factory. The World Wildlife
Federation (WWF) has identified Portuguese
cork forests as "key hotspots for forest biodiversity in the Mediterranean and in urgent
need for protection." The survival of the
Iberian Lynx, a highly endangered wild cat
whose population has dwindled 90 per cent
since 1988, and the Iberian Imperial Eagle,
whose population lingers at 150 in Spain in
Portugal, depends on the cork trees of these
forests. And that's not to mention the large
variety of migratory birds—including 60,000
herons from northern Europe, black storks
Rey estimates that ten per
cent of wine that reaches his
palate is tainted or 'corked,'
which means the wine has
taken on an undesirable taste
traditionally attributed to
the cork. This is a touchy
number in the wine industry.
and black vultures—that use these forests as
breeding and nesting grounds. Hares, wolves
and wild boars also contribute to the biodiversity of this fragile ecosystem.
As a result, cork oak trees play a large role
in the protection and maintenance of these
ecosystems. What's more, these trees protect
and maintain soil and water resources throughout the hot Portuguese summers. The tough,
thick cork tree bark also acts as an amazing and
resilient fire inhibitor and can impede the
growth of forest fires as well.
But Claire Doole, head of communications
at WWF International, explains that despite the
advantages of cork oak trees,  farmers are
becoming more inclined to plant eucalyptus
trees these days because they can be harvested
earlier and provide larger incomes relative to
cork trees. Unfortunately, eucalyptus trees are
highly flammable and are the first in line for
forest fires. In the summer of 2003, over
400,000 hectares of forests were consumed by
flames, marking serious losses for many
Portuguese farmers.
In an effort to save these precious ecosystems
and the diverse wildlife that depend on them,
the WWF implemented the Cork Oak
Landscapes Program injuly 2004. According to
their mandate, the aims of the program are to
address key challenges by "promoting sustainable markets, improving governance, changing
policy, building capacity at local, national and
international levels, and demonstrating solutions through field projects." The program sets
its sights on Portugal, Spain, Morocco and
In Portugal, a recent collaboration
between the WWF and the Reforestation
Cornmission in Algarve launched the Cansino
Project in the summer of 2005. This project is
concentrated in Monchique, the southern
region of Portugal that suffered the worst
damages during the forest fires of 2003 and
2004. The project aims at re-estabhshing an
economically feasible and enviroiunentally
diverse ecosystem in the region by, rehabilitating the burnt areas and re-designing forest
landscapes in order to make them more
resistant to fires. Stands of cork oak trees will
be planted amidst eucalyptus plantations as
barriers against fires. The Cansino Project
will be implemented in an area of 4000
hectares over then next three years, revitalising the somewhat charred landscape.
Another important aspect of the Cork Oak
Landscapes Program is motivating farmers
and cork cultivators to obtain a FSC certification. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was
created in 1994 by environmental organisations, a variety of companies and retailers, forest dwellers and professionals in order to establish an international, standard for responsible
forestry practices. Injuly 2005, 912 hectares of
cork land in the Alentejo region of Portugal was
This certification aims at opening new
markets in industrialised countries where
consumers are increasingly demanding
more natural products produced in an environmentally and socially friendly way. As of
November 2005, Canada has the largest area
of FSC-certified forest with 16 million
hectares. In a global market that now represents $5 billion, FSC-certified forests motivate companies, farmers, and all people
involved in the production and consumption
of forestry products to maintain and protect
the environment. While obtaining FSC-certifi-
cation is a positive step forward, a problem
for the cork industry is that wine bottles
rarely, if ever, specify the origins of their closures, thus failing to capitalise on the potential value of cork with FSC-certification.
Thanks to reforesting programs, Pedro confirms that cork forests are actually expanding
by four per cent annually. In order to promote
cork cultivation in Portugal, the government
provides subsidies to farmers that can vary
between 80 and 220 euros (or $120 to $330
CND) per hectare on an annual basis. "These
subsidies are very important and they are an
incentive as for the first 2 5 years [during which
time] the farmer will not have any income,"
Pedro emphasises. There are approximately
12,283 cork industry workers in Portugal, so
these subsidies don't only feed the farmers, but
a whole industry as well.
Exacdy how large is the industry? It's difficult to calculate considering its variety of facets.
Aside from its main market as bottle closures,
cork can also be used as bunding materials
such as insulation or even for clothing and
shoes. It has also been marketed as a beautiful,
renewable and recyclable flooring product.
"Light, flexible, buoyant, impermeable are a
few of cork's unique and natural characteristics. Even NASA uses cork for their shuttles!"
raves Pedro.
However, the richness of cork oak forests
also allows farmers to diversify their sources of
income. These forests nurture livestock that
create milk, cheese and ham in addition to agricultural products such as mushrooms, acorns,
berries, pine nuts and honey.
More recently, Portugal and other cork-producing countries have begun developing the
rich culture around these forests to expand eco-
tourism in the regions.
While the forests of Portugal seem far away
and the survival of the Bonelli Eagle or the
Iberian Lynx may seem futile since you may not
have known of their existence until several
paragraphs ago, their survival will affect much
more than the simple 'pop' sound you hear, at
the opening of a bottle of wine. A vast
Mediterranean economy and its populations
are wrapped up in their fate as well.
Let those vineyards, sommeliers and wine
enthusiasts exhaust the capabilities of alternative wine closures in an attempt to defeat cork
taint and to save a few cents, but do not beheve
their stories about the disappearing cork trees.
They are very much alive, and still growing
their multi-purposed bark. For the sake of a
unique ecosystem and culture, one can only
hope that these forests continue to flourish
along the Mediterranean coast.
The next step is to promote the labelling of
wine bottles according to their type of closures
so that consumers, from all walks of life, who
don't necessarily know much about wine or
the stories of the cork trees, can make
informed, environmentally and socially
friendly decisions. 81
i £
&; can't enter." The bouncer scanned
•J? the spaces just above our heads, and
jt.)■ told us we weren' t allowed in the club
called Karma. Karma. The name refers to an
Eastern spirituahty which dictates that your
actions continuously affect the future pain and
happiness of not only yourself but of those around
you. I asked if I could check inside just for a
moment, because I already had friends waiting
for me.
He nodded, and looked over my shoulder at
my Canadian friend Kathy, visiting for the weekend, and my boyfriend, standing next to her.
His bouncer friends escorted me in, and they
watched me suspiciously. I suddenly felt sick, and
moments like this are when the culture shock of
being in a different country really sink in.
"Hola! dQue pasa?" Everyone clinked their
glasses towards me.
Sorry guys, I can't stay and dance because
they won't let Nabil inside.
My boyfriend is Muslim, from Morocco, and
word on the street is that recently, most dance
clubs won't allow Arabs inside.
Inside the club, eastern designs invoking an
exotic land decorate the bar. Romanticised allusions to a mysterious and mystical Orient give
this club flavour and colour. You're no longer
in Malaga, Spain, you're partying it up in
Istanbul, Turkey.
Except it's a false cultural front, and
Andalusia is full of this type of cultural deception.
It represents what it means to be globalised without crossing that comfort level dividing 'them'
and 'us.' I notice it every day in Spain, and when
people ask me if I feel any culture shock, this is
what comes to mind.
I arrived in August, and intend to stay for
one year. With my brand new UBC degree in
Anthropology proudly behind me, and an
incredible feeling of freedom and fear, I expected what most foreign students expect: lots of
cheap wine, lots of cheap tapas and lots of cheap
dates. I had vague ideas about finding work as
an English teacher or a waitress, and of course,
the learning Spanish aspect was high on the fist
of accomplishments.
I didn 't come for the racism, but I faced it
head-on, and am still dealing with it daily.
Most Spanish people are not racist, especially
those under the age of thirty, those who have a
liberal arts degree, or those who are generally left
of centre in their political and social views. But
despite being a people that have legalised same-
sex unions, and who have elected a president
who has separated Church from State as much as
possible, there is still an incredibly nervous reaction to immigrants amongst Spaniards, especially as now, more than ever, there are so many
non-Spanish people living in Spain.
In Malaga, the three biggest immigrant
groups are from Morroco, Western African
countries such as Nigeria, and Argentinians.
Thus, the face of Spain, culturally and physically, has been changing for a while. But despite a
younger generation already used to a multicultural world with inter-racial dating and restaurants with owners who don't speak the national language, the sense of feeling out of place in
Spain is still sticking around.
The Argentinians are the lucky ones. Some of
them may not have jobs, but they speak Spanish
with charming accents and their fair faces don't
make shop owners nervous.
The Sub-Saharan Africans stick out in Malaga.
I have seen a total of one in a business suit, and
Observations on the treatment of Muslims in Spain
text and photos by Lisa Pamela Cooper | ANDALUSIA, SPAIN
none in restaurants, bars or stores. The only one
who has ever served me in a cafe was from
France, but how can it be a question of EU visas
when white Canadian girls are working illegally
in restaurants all over the place? Africans, thus,
mostly work the trade jobs, such as construction,
and are somewhat hidden from the city, in the
sense that you don't really interact with them,
but rather see them on the periphery. The language barrier is also a factor which affects your
chance of employment, but the black people from
Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba working here
don't usually get too many extra points for
already speaking Spanish.
I was volunteering for an NGO where we
were raising money to buy mosquito nets for a
town near Dakar, Senegal. My university professor says to me, "Lisa, you 're saving the fives of all
the negritosl"
I asked him if it was a little bit patronising or
incorrect to refer to Africans as "little black people," and this is when he got serious with me.
Lisa, he said, it's not racist, and the black people here don't mind. Because we don't have a
history of conflict with Africans the way it exists
in the U.S. So it's OK.
I begged to differ that most people don't want
to be belittled within their racial group, but I
immediately thought about the last sentence my
professor didn't say, which would have been
"...but of course, we do have 800 years of history
of fighting with the Arabs."
"Lisa, you should really only
date those kinds of people
If you mentions Arabs,or moros, as they are
colloquially and negatively called here, be prepared for an incredibly spiteful reaction. Despite
the fact that for eight hundred years Spain was,
indeed, Muslim Spain, and that cities like
Granada and Cordoba generate hundreds of
thousands each year in tourism dollars because
the Muslim architecture, such as the incredibly
beautiful Alhambra, are what draw the awe of
both Spanish citizens and foreigners alike, the
actual present-day Muslims do not enjoy the
same respect.
I lived for four months in an apartment with
my Canadian roommate and a Spanish man
from Barcelona. It was through him that I began
to realise how a lot of people here think, and talk
about, immigrants.
About the African construction workers (who
were of Portuguese nationality I will add) who
were drilling holes into walls next door, he would
loudly grumble about how those "goddamn
blacks" didn't know what they were doing, and
that he shouldn 't have to live in a country where
they give jobs to such useless people when there
are unemployed Spanish people looking for work.
While everyone meets someone like this in
every country, it seems that I was confronted
with these racist attitudes in many other places
too. The fact that I was dating a Muslim named
Nabil for five months caused considerable
uproar for instance.
"Lisa, you should be careful. People like
that...they are different. They don't understand
our culture. They won't treat you right"
"Lisa, you should really only date those kinds
of people when you are in your own country."
"Lisa, he might kill you. I'm serious."
"Lisa, I have never personally found
Morrocans attractive, and I have never dated
one...but, hey, it's OK if you date one."
And it went on. And on.
And on.
What surprised me the most, and what made
me the most uncomfortable, is that the verbal
abuse that immigrants get here often goes very
uncensured. The boundary between us and them
is incredibly pronounced, even though Muslims
played a very prominent role in Spain up until
the 15th century, and that the Muslim influence
remained, not just in ancient architecture, but in
popular culture too.
For example, shwarma, which is essentially
variable versions of pita or flatbread wrapped
around curried lamb, chicken, or beef, is everywhere. Little food stalls decorate the city, and
they are open until 4am, so bar-hoppers everywhere queue up to listen to Arabic rock and
messily eat Spain's most common version of
fast food.
The Christmas float was an extravagant affair
of children, colours, and gigantic representations
of the three wise men, Disney characters, and
space cadets with candy. The most popular float
looked like a take-off of an Aladdin-esque harem,
with dancing bellies, girls wrapped in sequins
and scarves and men with swords. The music
was upbeat, loud, and the most entertaining four
minutes of the entire three-hour spectacle.
Suddenly, Arab (or the European representation
of Arab) was cool.
Andalusia wouldn't be the same without
teterias, which are Arabic tea-houses. They smell
like incense, they glow with beautiful hanging
carpets and warm lighting, they jingle with little
bells, and they keep you warm because Spanish
hippies sometimes smoke water pipes that smell
like strawberry. You can order Moroccan tea,
which is sweet and minty, little Arabic biscuits,
and on Wednesday nights, they have five acoustic
guitar. Arab is always in style here.
Did you know, also, that flamenco, south of
Spain's most treasured style of music, has its origins in Arabic guitar?
If you are Moroccan hving in Spain, all this
doesn 't really matter.
Because the mother who is taking belly dancing lessons at the local gym would never allow
her daughter to date a Muslim. Because the
Swedish student who decorates her bedroom
with hanging lanterns and sequined pillows tells
her conversation class that since coming here,
she has had so many problems with "people
from different countries" that she has a whole
new negative image of Muslims. Because so
many tourists who take photos of the intricacies
of the Alhambra would never go to Tunisia
because "it's a Muslim country, and that means
it's dangerous for women."
There is a very heavy re-appropriation of
Arabic, Muslim, and Eastern elements woven
into the Euro-Spain lifestyle—people like to look,
taste and listen. But they* still maintain their fear
and prejudices. But bad people are everywhere.
You can't divide them into cultural groups.
You 're a thief because of circumstance, lack of
conscience or because you are a delinquent. Not
because you pray facing Mecca.
I have until September to change my opinion
of racial attitudes in Spain. I hope that I meet all
the right people who can help me realise that all
my experiences have been in the minority. II
^-^isrn-rraMT^iim^.KCT^Q"^ 12 Sports
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Sports fans play at being owner, GM and coach
with star players signed to win online hockey pool
by Thomas Sluchinski
Victoria—A long time ago, in a
dark, pre-Internet age, groups of
hockey-loving friends began hockey pools. They tested their knowledge of the game and the players
they cheered for.
Often they chose ten forwards and
six defencemen—choices made over
a few hours that they would have to
live with all season. The draft was
slow and tedious—a misstep here
would be fatal the rest of the year.
Afterwards, while comparing rosters,
predictions of glory and failure circled the room. At the end of the season they totaled the scores and
crowned a league champion.
Today, however, instead of
merely drafting players at the
beginning of the season, a fantasy
member is at once owner, general
manager and coach.
Wannabe big leaguers must create or choose a host site. Some of the
choices include TSN.ca, Sportsnetca,
ESPN.com, CBS SportsIine.com, and
SportiBgNews.com. A major site for
pro hockey, NHL.com offers six variations of fantasy hockey.
New York Islanders fan Patrick
DeKenipp arid; seven of his, friends
began the Ogie OgQthorpe Fantasy
Hockey League (OOFHL) in 1998 to
challenge their hockey managerial
skills, and each member runs their
franchise as if it were a real team.
The net has made all of this possible for DeKenipp and the OOFHL.
'[Being] online was the easiest way to
communicate with the owners who
were based in New York, New Jersey
and Pennsylvania,* he said.
And for Greg Laface, a 'disgruntled Bruins fan* who hosts his
league, the Elrose Aces, on
FantasySports.yahoo.com, the web
means members in Victoria,
Saskatoon, and tiny Elrose,
Saskatchewan can keep in touch.
'Without the Internet this league
would not exist,* he said.
To operate a league, a designated
commissioner  considers  its  size,
draft information such as roster size
and positions, scoring, waiver wire,
free agent regulations, and trade and
trading deadline rules. To keep score,
cornmissioners can include goals,
assists, plus-minus, and virtually any
of the other stats that the NHL tracks.
For  example,   every time  Sidney
Crosby sets up a teammate with a
soft-handed assist in Pittsburgh, he
also lands his fantasy owner a point
Instead of totaling the players'
points over the entire season like in
the old days, most fantasy sites have
two teams going head-to-head each
week. The on-ice performance of
each team's players generates points
that give a win-loss-tie score for the
week. These weekly scores add up
over the season and determine the
league champion.
The weekly head-to-head system
has several advantages over older-
style pools. It has the effect of making the games more personal (like
knowing your buddy is going down
badly this week) and more interactive since owners decide who to
start, who to trade, and who to go
after. It offers irnmediate gratifica
tion after a win or loss, instead of
having to wait until the end of the
season to name a champion.
Online participation in a fantasy
league means the owners are responsible for the success (or failure) of
their team. Start an injured player
and sit back to watch the results.
Draft your favourite player but if
need be, bench his ass and bring in a
fresh face. Be mindful of the dreaded
salary cap, as several fantasy sites
add this new dimension to the game.
Even if your team is not suiting
up, chances are one of your rival
teams is. Neal Sunder, a loyal Habs
fan with a custom site, said the
majority of leagues are active every
night 'Fantasy hockey has the effect
of making all hockey more interesting,* he said, adding that owners
have a 'vested interest* in almost
every NHL and fantasy game.
Back in '86 it was cutting edge to
split Gretzky's goals and assists
between two teams, in effect making
the league more competitive. In
2002, DeKenipp and the OOFHL
began incorporating players' salaries
and a salary cap into the fantasy format "This had an immediate impact
in that it freed our league from being
tied to roster limits-teams could now
trade three middle players for a star,*
reported DeKenipp.
The OOFHL was three years ahead
of the NHL, with this move directed
at creating competition. With fantasy
hockey online and its members gaining commissioner-like skills with
each shorthanded point and plus-
minus, NHL commissioner Gary
Bettman better watch his back. 81
National champs fall short
The CIS men's soccer champion
Thunderbirds fell to the
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on
Sunday in exhibition play at
Thunderbird Stadium.
Whitecaps midfielder Martin
Nash got the game's lone goal in
the 65th minute, converting a cross
from Dave Morris and redirecting
the ball past the UBC goaltender
Serge Djekanovic.
High school star UBC bound
The CIS champion Thunderbirds
women's basketball team will
be receiving a boost at the point
next, season after Port Moody
Secondary all-star Megan Pinske
committed to the Thunderbirds
for the upcoming season.
The 5' 10* guard dominated
from the one-spot last season in her
final year for the Port Moody Blues,
averaging 21 points, ten assists,
and five boards per game.
The Thunderbirds beat out
NCAA Division I schools UCLA and
Idaho for Pinske's services. Pinske
will join newcomer Candace
Morisset and returning veterans
Erica     McGuinness     and     Cait
Haggarty to form arguably the most
dominant backcourt in the country.
Golfers crack top five in
The UBC men's golf team came
in fifth at the 17 team Grand
Canyon Thunderbird  Invitational
on Tuesday, 13 shots behind winners Central Oklahoma.
Third year Blake Rowe-Sleeman
ended the tournament tied for
sixth to lead the way for the
Thunderbirds, finishing three
strokes back after shooting a 70-
71-71 to finish at 1-under par. II
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THEUBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
News 13
Campus reacts to tuition increase
AMS currently redrafting tuition policy
by Michael Kenacan
At its regular meeting last month
the UBC Board of Governors (BoG)
approved a two per cent tuition
increase for UBC students—the
maximum allowed under provincial government legislation that
pegged tuition to an inflationary
term known as 'cost of living.* The
hike will take effect this May.
The Alma Mater Society (AMS)
consented to the tuition increase in
a letter to the BoG dated March 8,
2006, signed by AMS President
Kevin Keystone, AMS VP External
Ian Pattillo and AMS VP Academic
Jeff Friedrich.
Explaining the AMS' stance on
tuition, Pattillo maintained that
'we have a policy—based on the
policy of the last five years of huge
unsustainable [tuition] increases—
that we're going to be okay with an
increase of the [Consumer Price
'We accept that there are infla
tionary pressures on the cost of
teaching and learning,* he added.
Tim Louman-Gardiner, outgoing
student BoG representative, agreed
with Pattillo. "The cost of education
is going up, and it's not unreasonable that students bear some of that
cost,* he asserted.
But that cost may be higher than
two per cent, suggested UBC's VP
Students Brian Sullivan, who said
that University would likely require
an increase of around four to five
per cent to be able to cover non-
salary cost increases.
'There are some significant
costs that for us mean our local
education price index is greater
than two per cent,* he explained,
pointing to utilities as one area that
is rising well above that number.
He added that since the provincial government hasn't stepped in
to cover the shortfall, the
University has been forced to cover
the remaining gap through the
budgetary process.
'At this point, the University... is
still working on the budget to bring
things in fine.*
For Pattillo, the government
should be doing more to ease the
burden on students. 'We view
tuition increases and really the cost
of education as a partnership
between students and the government,* said Pattillo. 'With tuition
increases for students, we think it's
only fair that the government contribution would increase as well.*
Student reaction to the increase
was mixed: '[An increase] above
inflation I wouldn't be too happy
about, but [the two per cent
increase] seems reasonable,* said
third-year political science student
Joe Samuel.
Wendy Cheng questioned why
UBC needed to raise tuition. 'It
could be kept the same; it's too
much already,' she declared. "They
already raised it last year.*
The AMS is in the process of
revising its tuition policy and is
seeking input from students.
'People with views on this should
come into the AMS and help us
craft a new policy, because we're
going to be updating it,* announced
The AMS also expressed a worry
over the creation of a capital contribution fee for capital projects that
is independent of tuition in the
approved proposal.
The letter states that 'the more
costs the University removes from
tuition and defines as a fee, the
more freedom the University has in
setting the rates of those fees, as
they will not be subject to the
provincial governments rate
increase caps.*
Louman-Gardiner put things in
'I'd love it if tuition were cut, I
think tuition should be cut,* he
said, but added that given the current circumstances, it would be
unrealistic. *I think, all things considered, that a two per cent
increase ain't so bad.* II
STEAL ME: Keep an eye on your valuables during study season because thieves wil be as well, kellan higgins photo
RCMP warns about thefts during exam period
by Amanda Stutt
Campus libraries crowded with
students busily cramming for
exams can create a fertile environment for thieves to work in—a reality that UBC's Theft Prevention
Initiative, a joint venture between
UBC Campus Security and the
RCMP, aims to circumvent.
According to Constable Rob
Saguri, the RCMP-UBC community
liaison officer, the Theft
Prevention Initiative aims to create greater student awareness all
year round. 'We are trying to bring
awareness about thefts to all of
UBC, said Saguri. *We work with
auxiliary officers, patrolling places
like Koerner library.*
He explained that during library
patrols he has seen many instances
of students sleeping with packs full
of valuables left open on the floor
*We went to the library and it was
unbelievable how many packs were
left behind...if you walk away, even if
it's just for a moment, here we have
people actively looking for an opportunity just like that,* he said.
"The most important thing here
is to get the message to the students
that they just can't leave their items
behind and expect that they'll
always be there when you return,*
Saguri stated.
In addition to patrols, the Theft
Prevention Initiative has had stickers placed in various strategic locations around libraries warning
about the rash of thefts that have
occurred there.
UBC Security's Steve Bohnen, a
community relations officer, works
in tandem with the RCMP on the
theft prevention campaign.
He explained that when students
change their focus from going to
class to going to the library and
studying in cubicles, 'their situational awareness changes. They are
focused primarily on reading what's
in front of them, and they are less
aware of their surroundings.*
Bohnen said that this lack of
awareness of surroundings can
translate into a kind of tunnel
vision, and this is something a
potential thief could capitalise on.
Bohnen encourages students to be
aware of their property and
warned, 'We will be patrolling the
SUB, Koerner library, and anywhere students are busy studying.
We will come along and wake students up.* He also advised, 'if you
fall asleep, thread the strap of your
backpack through your chair
leg...and please don't leave your
laptop when you walk away to get a
coffee or anything.*
He also said that wallets and
bikes are a target of theft, and
explained that using a cable lock for
bikes is not conducive to theft prevention because cable locks are
very easily broken.
Bohnen is optimistic, and said
that as a result of the Theft
Prevention Initiative, 'numbers have
been driven down. There's been a
substantial and steady decline [in
thefts] in the months since October.'
He said, 'it's better to prevent theft
from occurring through awareness,
and it's working.* VI
UBC spin-off inks
$500 million deal
by Eric Szeto
Terry Snutch started at UBC 14 years
ago with a partner, a technician and
an idea. Last month, after endless
hours and countless sleepless nights
Snutch had inked the largest licensing
deal in Canadian biotech history.
'It's pretty exciting to have so
much interest from the pharmaceutical industry on the drug that we developed,* Snutch, the co-founder of
Neuromed Pharmaceuticals, said during a phone interview from the
Cayman Islands. 'Half a billion dollars
is quite a bit of money, hopefully the
drug will succeed and people will benefit from it*
The $475 million deal Neuromed
Pharmaceutical signed with Merck
Pharmaceutical will help develop
Snutch's experimental pain blocking
compound, NMED-160, into a new
class of painkillers as powerful as morphine, but without the nasty side
effects that most opiate—based
painkillers currently entail.
*Doctors don't like to give opiates
because of the addiction. If [NMED-
160 drugs] does work for long-term
chronic pain patients, [it will be] a real
breakthrough for patients with long
term pain,* he said.
NMED-160 targets the N-Type calcium channel, a main component to
where an individual feels pain. By
blocking this receptor, it limits the
pain one receives by essentially turning down the volume.
If all goes according to plan, the
drugs that emerge from this research
might be the first breakthrough to hit
the drug market since selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and
Triptans in the 1980s. Additionally,
several other drugs maybe developed
from this formula might also lead to
new methods of treatment for various
mental disorders.
"With Merck it's a collaboration to
develop more drugs for pain and
other indications that this gene may
be involved in...such as anxiety, stroke
and mood disorders,* said Snutch.
Christopher Gallen, CEO of
Neuromed, has great hopes for this
*We have the chance to change the
lives of maybe hundreds of millions of
people and I think that this deal
moved that possibility forward in a big
way,* said an elated Gallen.
There are tons of people trying to
do the same thing that we've done,* he
said. *I think that the trick is that we
are well ahead of the rest of the world
in part because of the particularly brilliant, one might even say genius of
Terry Snutch.*
Gallen explained that Neuromed
has a clear advantage because Snutch
discovered how to purposely block calcium channel signals while others
were still only doing it by accident
Currently in its phase two trials, it
will take another five to six years
before the drugs are available on the.
Test trials in animals have gone
exceedingly well, he added. *We can
give animals 100 to 200 times the
therapeutic dose without causing significant tissue toxicity/ he said.
There are so many people whose
lives are ruined because of constant
nagging pain, Gallen said. Bad backs,
knees, shoulders, nerve injuries and
headaches are just a few of the examples, he added.
If we're right and we have what
we think we have, we'll be able to take
that pain away without them feeling
significant side effects/ Gallen said.
"That would be a great lifetime
achievement* H
i.'.i,i^^i;*Lttp"iirt-,iiiJ'.. 14 News
•• 53W'-*-<»»--^***'^i,G'-:'!!ia
'<8 *> i
Saturday, April 15 9:00 p.m.
The Great Easter Vigil: The prophecies, Lighting of the Fire,
Baptism, and First Mass of Easter
Sunday, April 16
Low Mass: 8:30 a.m.
Parish Family Sung Mass: 9:30 a.m.
High Mass of the Resurrection: 11:15 a.m.
the path ybu choose can m
Advanced Placement into Diploma Programs
Put Your Degree to Work
if you have a university degree in any field you
may be able to obtain a BCIT diploma in one year.
BClT's advanced placement into diploma and
post-diploma business programs can fast-track
you into a career in:
Financial Management
• Advanced Accounting
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• Tourism Management
Heidi Surman 604-432-8293
At BCIT we offer a unique blend of academic
learning and applied skills ~ a different path
of learning. For more information, visit
Apply now for Fall 2006
Friday. 7 April, 2006   THEUBYSSEY
Cabinda's invisible genocide
by Corey Sine
Wedged between the Republic of the
Congo and the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (formerly Zaire) is
Cabinda, a small, boot-shaped pocket
of land. Forgotten is the brutal situation that has led to the mass exodus
of almost a million people.
The enclave, with a population
of roughly 300,000, is rich in petroleum, diamonds, gold, gas and
phosphates, making it an invaluable piece of property to occupying
forces. The enclave has set up a
website (www.cabinda.net) in the
hopes of drawing attention to to the
ruthless killings, gang rapes and
the corruption that has plagued the
nation since the National Union for
the Liberation of Angola (MPLA),
invaded in 1975.
Amnesty International notes on
the Cabinda website that "soldiers
and other officials threatening to
harm or kill people or actually carrying out beatings and killings are commonplace...One of the main causes of
suffering in Cabinda is the illegal and
unchecked actions of soldiers and
other law enforcement personnel.*
Since the invasion by MPLA
forces,   nearly   one-third   of   the
Cabindan population has fled to
neighboring countries to escape the
violence. The number of Cabindan
refugees living in exile is estimated at
As to why Cabinda has avoided
global attention UBC anthropologist
David Ryniker stated, *I think
Cabinda is outside of our consciousness—Angola was prominent in the
1980s but Cabinda was not.
"Add to the fact that Zaire has
been in civil war, Cabinda never
became the poster-boy for African
relief...There's a case of charity-
fatigue in the West, people just don't
want to hear about it."
"Genocide can be fast or slow, in
the case of Cabinda; it is the extinguishment by Angola of the Cabindan
national identity through an ongoing
pattern of human rights violations
including rape, torture, deportation,
summary execution, and criininalis-
ing the Cabindan identity,* said
Jonathan Levy, attorney for the
Republic of Cabinda.
Levy remains positive however.
"The independence of Cabinda is
not just likely but it is a historical
inevitability. The battle will be
fought not just in cities and hinterlands of Cabinda but now in the
world legal courts* Ii
UBC student kidnapped
23-year-old computer science student
Graham McMynn was abducted in
front of his home this past Tuesday.
He was held and taken at gunpoint at
midday. His abuctee left his girlfriend
Students and the public are still in
disbelief. 'He's just a student and the
way they grabbed him was like something out of a movie/ said student
Colin Olson, a UBC computer science
The motivation for the abduction is
still unknown to local officials. The
Vancouver Police are releasing little
information about McMynn respect
ing his family's privacy. Possibilities
for a ransom in exchange for McMynn
have been speculated but have not
been confirmed. The Vancouver
Police Department will continue its
search for McMynn.
Worst nightmare
Elizabeth Dunn, assistant psychology
professor who survivedva^-isiiark attack %
two weeks ago during a surfing trip in
Hawaii, is recovering fine.
Dunn initially believed that a
large sea turtle had come in contact
with her board but soon realised
that it was not a turtle when something took a bite out of her calf.
Unable to swim to shore as she was
recovering from the shock, Dunn
screamed for help and was saved by
two surfers in the area.
The shark most likely mistook
Dunn as its normal food source but
after its bite, realised that she was not
explaining why the shark did not
harm Dunn farther. Ql
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m THEUBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
News 15
Venezuelan trade union leader speaks in Vancouver
Luis Primo talks about Venezuelan history and the prospects for unions
by Chris Adamson
The leader of the Venezuelan
National Union of Workers, Luis
Primo, spoke in Vancouver at the
Maritime Labour Centre late last
Hosted by the Vancouver
District Labour Council and Hands
Off Venezuela—a group made up of
various non-profit groups involved
in raising awareness about workers issues—Primo's speech was
translated for a few dozen
observers filling the small East
Vancouver venue.
Primo described how since the
1970's corruption has plagued
Venezuela's trade unions. He went
on to lambaste the country's oldest
trade union, the Confederation de
Trabajadores de Venezuela (CVW),
calling it a pro-management,
'degenerate and elitist union that
operates on behalf of foreign corporations and Venezuelan elites to
suppress workers wages, deny
benefits, pensions and seniority
rights, and eliminate job security.*
In the 1980s and up to the millennium, the demands of the global
market forced oil rich Venezuela to
open its doors to increasing investment from foreign multinationals
in the oil, paper, steel and mining
sectors, and the CVW union played
a key role in facilitating these
groups' access to Venezuelan
Despite the country's huge oil
reserves, the state treasuries saw
less and less of oil revenues in the
80s and 90s, as leaders of
Venezuela's state oil company,
PDVSA, moved operations offshore
to Europe and the United States to
avoid paying taxes in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the CVW, remained
complicit in this arrangement,
argued Primo.
'How can a workers union be
allied with the bosses and the imperialists?* asked Primo.
He explained that those within
the CVW who truly advocated worker solidarity branched off to form
the Venezuelan National Union of
Workers (UNT) in 2003. Primo said
of the UNT: 'we have embarked on
a radical program of struggle to
bring workers fundamental rights
in Venezuela.*
'All over Venezuela, workers are
taking control of factories, and rising up against corrupt bosses,*
added Primo. He spoke of the successes of workers' efforts to overtake abandoned by foreign companies, where workers had been fired
without adequate notice or severance pay.
UNT's efforts to improve workers rights are also illustrated by
the nationalisation of Venezuela's
banking sector; a move proponents hope will reduce corruption
and fraud.
Primo expressed disgust with
the old system that stole from workers, treating them as production
costs that had to be cut: 'To this
day, the toiling workers have been
not paid a cent of the money they
"All over Venezuela
workers are taking
control of factories,
and rising up against
corrupt bosses."
-Luis Primo
Leader Venezuelan National
Union of Workers
earned, and no one has been held
accountable for this theft,* he
The UNT's quest to empower
workers may, however, encounter
resistance from foreign firms and
local elites with an interest in pro
moting privatisation and reducing
production costs.
As UBC Professor of Economic
Geograph Trevor Barnes noted, 'if
Chavez can remain in power—
which is a big if—and implement
his socialist economic reforms,
including democratising the labour
unions—which will also be a struggle—there is a good prospect for
progressive reform.
'But it is not going to be easy,
both because of outside US pressure and counter claims from within Venezuela's entrenched power
elite,' he added.
Those who hosted the speech
mentioned the international
communities' role in raising
awareness of workers struggles.
Miriam Pollack a member of the
Vancouver District Labour Council
who observed Primo's speech,
emphasised the need for
the 'international community to
mobilise in support of Venezuelan
workers.* II
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et your Urst Month's
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Terms:     No cash value. $15 administration fee applies to all new customers.
Offer subject to change without notice. Students must present a UBC student card to be eligible.
If ■^.■*Ij»'-sv-rT',,.r'T;
Free Study Space in the SUB during Exams
SAC and the VP Administration are providing free study space in the SUB. Silent
study and Quiet Discussion rooms will be available 9am until midnight seven days
a week, beginning April 11th until the end of exams on April 28th.
Questions? Please visit: http://www.ams.ubc.ca/sac
December 6th Commemorative Design Competition winners announced
The UBC students and staff of the December 6th Memorial Committee are
pleased to announce the winners of the December 6th Commemorative Design
First place goes to Eli Puterman design entitled Two Solitudes. He would like to
acknowledge Tania Bruehler and David Shortt for their help. Fibonacci Method
Memorial design by John Schaer, and Glass Panels design by Ang Yu were the two
finalists.   We'd like to thank all the contributors for their outstanding efforts.
The Memorial Committee, as well as the faculty adjudication members, were
pleased with the high level of thought and creative talent that comprised all of the
Members of UBC December 6th Memorial Committee.
■rfw«|-JM wdw-d-lft «&
XCOM is Hiring for 06/07!
If you have an interest in parties and events, government and post-secondary
education, or anything related to UBC or the AMS, we encourage you to apply to
the External Commission (XCOM). This is a team that assists the AMS Vice-
President External in designing and implementing the tasks of his portfolio.
Positions include: Vice-Chair; Post-Secondary Education Commissioner
(Provincial and Federal Government Focused); Events Commissioner; U-Pass
Commissioner, and webmaster for the studentsforBC.ca website.
All are encouraged to apply. For more information, and complete job descriptions, please visit JobLink or ams.ubc.ca./jobs.
I    SASC Hiring Volunteer Coordinator
The Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) is a sexual assault support service
run by the AMS. We are committed to the education, support and empowerment of
students, staff, faculty and visitors of all genders who are survivors of sexualized
violence and their friends, family and partners. Through our feminist, anti-
oppression framework we are dedicated to working towards ending all forms of
The SASC is hiring a part-time Volunteer Coordinator to engage in volunteer
recruitment, organize and facilitate training, and do volunteer-related administration, including scheduling and event attendance. They should have a strong
understanding of
feminist and anti-oppression perspectives and approaches in relation to sexualized violence and abuse, experience working with volunteers and providing
training workshops, knowledge of on-campus and off-campus resources available
to survivors of violence, be well-organized, self-motivated and able to work
independently and/or as part of a team.
For application information and a complete job description please visit
The A/vAS is seeking d graphie
designer for theiAAAS insider for
rnore^information please seer^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Student Rights Advocate/Advisor
The AMS Student Advocacy Office is seeking a student to serve as an
Advocate/Advisor. Our office provides free representation, guidance and
assistance to students engaged in conflict with UBC. The work includes
disciplinary hearings, academic appeals, admissions appeals, housing, and
parking fine appeals. We work very closely with the AMS Ombuds Office to
resolve student rights issues and concerns. We offer a supportive and flexible
work environment within the larger group of AMS Student Services. A salary
of $8,400.00 will be paid for this position (bi-weekly installments). The
workload is 22.5 hours per week for the summer period (May 1 to Aug 31)
and 15 hours per week for the remainder of the year (Sept 1 to April 30).
Deadline for submission of resumes is April 21, 2006 by 4pm. The position
will begin on May 1, 2006 and will end on April 30, 2007. Due to the
expected number of applicants only successful applicants will be contacted for
an interview.
Resumes should be forwarded via email, in confidence, with cover letter and
contact information for two references (note: references will be contacted) to:
Mariana Payet Executive Coordinator of Student Services SUB 249C
Services@ams.ubc.ca (please use MS Word)
Speaker of AMS Council
Duties and Responsibilities: • Facilitate AMS Council meetings as a nonvoting member • Coordinate and facilitate the smooth execution of the
Council Agenda • Be available outside Council meetings for occasional
discussion of Council issues/items • Other duties as outlined by AMS Code or
assigned by Council from time to time
Relevant Experience/Qualifications • Must have knowledge and experience
implementing Robert's Rules of Order • Must have good public speaking
skills and an ability to be assertive in carrying through the rules and procedures of Council • Must be objective and impartial • Knowledge of the AMS
governmental and services structure is an asset • Must not hold any other
elected, staff, or appointed position in the Society, including positions within
Time Commitment: • Approximately 20 council meetings for the year on
Wednesday evenings from 6pm • Approx. 4-5hrs per meeting though the
meetings may run later than 11pm
Compensation: • $2000 for a 12-month term. May 1, 2006 to May 1st, 2007
or $100/meeting, whichever is higher
Applications should be e-mailed to applications@ams.ubc.ca with the job title
included in the subject heading or hand-delivered by April 17, 2006 to: Jeff
Friedrich Vice-President Academic & University Affairs, Chair of the
Appointments Committee c/o Alma Mater Society Room 238-6138 SUB
Boulevard Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Thank you for your interest!
AMS Elections Administrator
Duties and Responsibilities: • Chair the Elections Committee • Function as
an officer of AMS Council responsible for advising on electoral matters •
Develop vision and goals for the electoral year ♦ Periodically review and
improve electoral regulations • Maintain integrity of the electoral process •
Act to improve campus participation in elections and referenda • Be ultimately
responsible for successes and failures • Other duties as listed in AMS Code,
Section IX, Article 1, Subsection C, paragraph 1.
Deadline: noon April 17, 2006
Visit www.ams.ubc.ca/jobs for full details.
% THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
News 17
Campus media: forcing our opinions
by Matt Hayles
This is the last installment in a
series about stewardship and student leaders. Part one addressed
the question of who becomes a student leader. Part two explored
environmental factors within the
AMS that help or hinder student
leaders. This article, part three,
examines campus media, and the
role they play in communications
between student leaders and the
student body.
Peter Robinson is a professor at
Ryerson University, aging and
bright-eyed. He worked at The
Toronto Star for twenty years, starting at the bottom and working his
way up. Since the early nineties, he
has been teaching a journalism
course that brings together eighteen students for six weeks to put
together The Ryersonian, one of
Ryerson's two main student
The Ryersonian is published
twice-weekly by the School of
Journalism, and is usually twenty
or more pages.
Opposite The Ryersonian is
another student paper, The Eye
Opener, (EO) which gets its funding from the Ryerson Student
Union (RSU). It publishes every
Wednesday, and maintains a lively
website in between. Matthew
Chung is the News Editor for The
EO, and a journalism student himself.
But despite their similarities,
The Ryersonian and the EO represent two very different understandings of what a student paper
should be. For Chung, the paper he
works on is an initiative by stu
dents for students. *I feel that we
represent students,* he said.
But Robinson takes a different
focus with the paper he oversees.
He feels that The Ryersonian is a
paper for all of Ryerson—students,
teachers and staff. He feels that
newspapers are responsible for
communicating a broad range of
"i think student
media is very
important. .. Freedom
of the press i think is
absolutely critical
to an academic
-Martha Piper
UBC President
'At its highest level, [we]
inform and educate people,* he
said. But he is alarmed by recent
trends in media that focus on rock-
stars and celebrities. 'It's become
entertainment,* he said, adding
that this trend applies to both
mainstream and campus publications. The day after Ryerson's elections, he commented that, 'the
person who runs for President is a
sort of celebrity.*
But Chung feels that the reach
of student politicians is limited.
*I think for the average person
at the school you -can go your
whole four years without knowing
they exist* he said.
He  believes   that part of the
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problem is that students don't see
any results from student leaders.
*I don't see them doing anything
that benefits me on a personal
level,* he said.
Something similar is occurring at
UBC according to Ian Pattillo, VP
External for the Alma Mater
Society (AMS). He agrees with
Chung that students are cynical
when it comes to campus politics,
but said that the AMS does do a
tremendous amount for student
interests. He thinks that the AMS
could do a better job of branding
itself to students, and informing
them of its accomplishments. He
sees UBC campus media such as
me Ubyssey, CiTR, and The Knoll,
as a route towards this goal. 'I
think campus media, like any
media, is the conduit between student government, and the public,*
he said.
Outgoing UBC President
Martha Piper agrees with Pattillo.
T think student media is very
important,* she said by telephone.
*I think it's important for communications in both directions...*
Piper, who is leaving UBC at the
end of May, believes that UBC has
a strong tradition in its campus
media. *I think we have a long history on this campus of supporting
student media,* she said. 'And
freedom of the press I think is
absolutely critical to an academic
environment that is strong and
has an important voice."
Nathan Crompton is one of several editors for The Knoll, a new
publication on campus. He worked
with five or six others in putting
together its freshman and sophomore issues, published in January
and March respectively. He
believes, that as a newcomer, The
Knoll differs from UBC's established media, such as the Ubyssey
and CiTR, by focusing on social
issues rather than hard news. 'I
think we start on the point that students operate in a broader social
context,* he said by email. 'And so
Tite Knoll deals with issues beyond
campus life, and sees campus society as a starting point for societal
"Part of what papers
are supposed to be
able to do is look at
something and say
this is not right and
do something about
-Peter Robinson
Professor Ryerson University
Robinson agrees, saying that
the media is a conduit for change.
'Part of what papers are supposed
to be able to do,* he said, 'is look
at something and say this is not
right, and to do something about
it.* He added that he encourages
his students to pull no punches on
the important issues.
Chung takes a similar approach
with his paper. 'If there's a problem with the RSU we let them
know...* he said. 'The current
executive and the EO do not get
along. We write a lot of negative
Balsam Dental Centre
Dr. Francisco Leos-Marquez, Inc., Dentist
Preferred Rates for Students!
Just 10 minutes from campus on the 41st bus*
We also specialize in implants and orthodontics*
stories about them.*
For Robinson, the most important asset for student journalists is
an environment that promotes
regular contact between campus
media and university staff. He said
that Sheldon Levy, Ryerson's
newest president, opened up the
University by removing restrictions that had been put in place by
the previous administration. 'Levy
unbuttoned the lips of people that
were too scared to say anything,"
he said. "The atmosphere on campus has changed, and that needs to
come from the top."
Piper, for her part, has seen a lot
of outspoken faculty during her
term in office. 'Well we certainly
see that in the public media,* she
said. "I mean certainly if you follow The Sun or, you know. The
Province or The Globe and Mail or
Tie National Post," she said.
'People are often speaking out
about issues that might be seen as
criticism to the administration,*
added Piper.
She doesn't see any reason why
university staff would feel more
restrained speaking to campus
media, but admitted that she doesn't
see a lot of university staff speaking
with campus publications.
Robinson praised Levy for
expanding a policy that regularises contact between the two
Ryerson papers and the administration. Every week, each of the
two papers are given a chance to
sit down with the President for a
question period. In order to prepare, Levy asks that the papers
email in their questions ahead of
time, but unlike previous
Presidents he allows follow up
questions and phone calls.
When asked about adopting a
similar policy at UBC, Piper's reaction was cautiously positive. T
don't see any difficulty with meeting with [campus media]," she
said, but she added that a weekly
meeting could be too much. 'The
demands on my time are such that
I don't think I could make that
commitment. But certainly on a
less frequent basis I think it could
be possible."
Piper suggested that campus
media work to establish a stronger
relationship with other members
of the administration as well. She
recommended Brian Sullivan,
Vice-President Students, and
Lome Whitehead, Vice-President
Academic and Provost, as two
members of the administration
that are involved in student issues
on a day-to-day basis. 'People
think the President makes all the
decisions,* she said, "of course
that's not the case.*
Kevin Keystone, president of
the AMS, approved of the idea.
'It'd be a better way for the
University to communicate with
the student body,* he said, adding
that it could allay a lot of hostility
towards the UBC administration.
But he also cautioned that regular
meetings might give the administration some editorial control.
'That'd put a lot of spin on things,*
he cautioned.
Piper's bottom fine? 'Well obviously you'd have to ask the new
Stephen Toope, who takes over
from Piper in June, could not be
reached for comment by press
time, a • 18 Opinion/Editorial
Friday, 7 April. 2006   THE UBYSSEY
The be all and end all masthead
So much has come and gone and what
better way to describe it then by making the biggest masthead in the
Ubyssey all year long.
Let's begin the journey with a
few veterans. They are the incredible Jesse Marchand and Michelle
Mayne who oversee of all the fives
of the Ubyssey staff and change
everyone's lingo with phrases like,
'Whatevs.* Eric Szeto and Paul
Evans wear Michael Kenacan
flavoured lipgloss. Evans claims
that Basil Expo is actually his real
name while Yinan Max Wang has a
fetish for Charles Miller Muffins!
Claudia Li craves Quinn Omri, Yalin
Lin and Stephanie Tait. Megan
Smyth has magic powers and has
turned Simon Underwood, Sarah
Bourdon, and Colleen Tang into a
David Yuen bunny. Boris Korby
hates cheese and Champagne
Choquer knows it. However, she is
afraid of Bruce Pirrie and Teresa
Ienakidis. But she thinks Andrew
MacRae and Mary Leighton are
"aight* Levi Barnett, well, let's just
say that Kellan Higgins saw him
with Momo Price, Mai Bui and
Aaron Carr in the production room
with the fights off. Jesse Ferreras
and Greg Ursic found this appalling,
but didn't mind when Meredith
Hambrock, Aha Dharssi and Sarah
Colgrave were getting frisky in the
broomcloset. Trevor Gilks likes fig
newtons and Kian Mintz-Wo, Chris
Hergesheinier and Nick Black LOVE
veggie samosas. Luke T. Johnson
and Nathan Phillips and Matt
Hayles really like Granville island
winter ale. No wait, that's Max. Will
Keats Osborne and Jenn Chrumkd
they enjoy charma chameleon as
much Aman Rai. Michelle MacNeil
always had a thing for Heather Pual
but she winked at Candace Vallantin
during the staff meeting. Jason
Webb now he really enjoyed a good
Jacklyn Chang with a side of Corey
Sine. Alex Leslie, Liz Green and
Alvina Lo were walking to the
Carolynne Burkholder sex shop in
search for the magical wizard Bryan
Zandberg to find a vibrating condom... And the ubyssey loves the following people (but not in the way that
requires a vibrating condom):
Benjamin Groberman, Ritu Kumar,
Erica Baird, Frieda Luk, Caroline
Chuang, Maxwell Maxwell, Melissa
Woodside, George Prior, Carol
Pomanko, Mike Hurtwitz, Lisa
Cooper, Irdrissa Simmonds, Whitney
McCaskUl, Hilary Smith, Jackie Wong,
Tia Toun-Schon, Amanda Stutt, Jenn
Cameron, D. Winterwhite, Reuben
Heredia, Cheadta Nao, Peter Warren,
Sean Lee, Amanda Truscott, Jill
Orsten,  Megan McCanley,  Serena
Lam, Ada Chen, Ross Pruskowski,
Gemini Cheng, Peggy Cho, Catherine
Hart, Joanna Yauorsky, Shagufta
Pasta, Khatidja Vaitya, Wendy Tay,
Colleen Ma, Ruth Chan, Peter Clark,
Erik Lauder, Johnson Lee, Duncan
McHugh, Nadya Belland, Sarah Buck,
and Alissa McArthur.
P.S. Szabo. Enough said. 81
Perspective opinions
The Right's new tactics
by Steven Klein
The Right has found a new tactic of
victirnhood, especially on campus.
The story goes that at universities the
New Left views of the  60s have
become the institutionalised norm,
the Man, and the conservative voice is
now the radical outsider, subject to
oppression.  This  argument is  at
the   core   of   a   recent   editorial,
'Conservatives minority victimised at
UBC* [Mar. 28]. Ironically, the article
uses the soft, PC language that the
Right decries, but more importantly, it
is based on nothing but innuendo and
false assumptions about the nature of
universities and pontics in general.
The first problem anyone dealing
with this issue encounters is the
vagueness of the terminology Left vs
Right, liberal vs conservative (or is it
Liberal vs Conservative?). When we
talk about the Left, do we mean radicalism? Or moderate state socialism
and multiculturalism? If so, how is
the Right different? Anti-statist free
marketers? People who do actually
want to conserve what we currently
have in place? Gordon Campbell? I
barely have a clue, and this makes
throwing around a term like liberal
mindset' hazardous.
Semantic issues aside, we have
the claim that conservatives are 'victims of censure, prejudice, and fear-
mongering.* These would indeed be
serious crimes if the author gave us
any reason to believe him. But, he
does not Not one incident cited.
Innuendo is at the core of the entire
political tactic of victirnhood. In the
US, where the neoconservative
movement has launched larger projects in an effort to 'Right* universities (some, such as Campus Watch,
with a distinct McCarthyite feel), they
have dug up surprisingly little evidence of the Left-wing juggernaut
oppressing dissenters.
This all ignores the sociological
reality that universities, for the most
part, are going to be more progressive than the non-academic world.
Within universities this will vary;
nobody would call Sauder a hotbed of
radicalism. But, historically, universities have been fermenting grounds
for progressive politics. This can be
explained in many ways: economic
status   of  university   population,
urban    location,    intellectualism,
youthful idealism, etc, but the fact
remains that the Left is nothing new
at universities. As well, it is worth
noting that outside the universities
we are currently fiving under a conservative government, both federally
and provincially.
In the absence of any proof for the
Left-wing conspiracy on campus, let
us move on to the next, more surprising argument: why can't we all just
get along? The answer is simple: it's
politics! The author asks, 'why vilify
a conservative student merely
because she wears the conservative
tag, or a liberal because she is a liberal?' Why? Because I think politics
have consequence. I think that people who hold views I disagree with
are in fact comrmtting an injustice,
as I form my own views in support of
what I see as just and in opposition
to what I see as unjust
Therefore, why would I do anything other than vilify my political
opponents? Why would I do anything
other than exert my entire intellectual force to defeat their position? I will
approach them as another individual
with the respect that entails and for
the most part deal in clear-headed,
rational debate, but my view of them
as a more or less unjust person will
affect that, and, as such, ridicule and
fear-mongering are fair game.
Censorship, though, is not, although
I don't think I've ever had enough
power to censure someone.
We are not born with our political
views. They are not an innate trait.
The language of ethnic repression
does not transfer to the political
realm. We choose our opinions on
the world; we choose what to support
or not, and if you support something
I see as horrific, I will tell you that, I
will vilify you for it, and I will do
eveiything within my intellectual
power to ensure that your views do
not translate into a continuation of
injustice. You are not the victim; you
are wrong.
—Steven Klein is a student in
second-year arts
MURP and MURC: promoting
undergrad research at its finest
by Alexander Leung
A prof once told me that all human
knowledge doubles every ten years.
Though I was inspired as a citizen of
humanity, I also realised that a lot of
what I am learning will be obsolete
soon after I leave UBC. My friends
and family often ask why I devote so
much time to pursuing knowledge
when I know that 'truth* changes
with every passing day. I tell them, it
is the process and the journey which
matters most, not the destination. To
me, a successful learner is one who
realises that education is not a
means to an end, but rather, an end
in itself. What I gained most from
university is the ability to learn.
I beheve that the highest form of
learning is achieved by the decon-
struction and synthesis of knowledge, and that research is the natural
extension of classroom learning.
Research provides the opportunity to
break down the theoretical framework of knowledge learned in class,
organise it in a way that is personal,
and utilise it to solve problems. I
beheve it is vital for undergraduate
learners to engage in research,
before they face the graduate school
pressure to produce significant pub-
lishable results. Even if one has no
intention of pursuing an academic
career, the skills of critical thinking
and independent learning are transferable to all areas of life.
For years, other universities have
run undergraduate research programs, recognising the resource that
undergraduate students provide,
and the importance of framing new
researchers early. Recently, UBC created its own Multidisciphnary
Undergraduate Research Program
(MURP), housed within the Office
of the Vice President Research.
Together with the Multidisciplinary
Undergraduate Research Conference
(MURC), a separate entity offered by
the Centre for Teaching and
Academic Growth, MURP provides
undergraduate students with
resources and guidance to begin successful research careers.
MURP was created by Dr Ingrid
Price and Jackie Stewart in September
2004. A new addition to the team, Dr
Sonja Embree is coordinating the
2005/2006 offering of the program.
MURP is a free extra curricular program open to all students, which provides framing in research skills such
as critical thinking, grant writing, and
oral presentation. It provides information and guidance needed to find a
faculty sponsor and develop a
research project Further, it provides
opportunities to meet and share with
other undergraduate researchers,
opportunities to learn from established researchers, and information
about graduate school. 'MURP is flexible, so students may pick and choose
what they need to develop their skills,*
says Jackie Stewart
MURC is a conference at which
undergraduate students can showcase their research projects in both
verbal presentation and poster format Last year, there were about a
hundred presenters from both arts
and science backgrounds. "We hear a
lot from folks who go to the conference for the first time about how
impressed they are with the caliber
of the projects and how professional
the presenters are,* says Desiree
Mou (who co-coordinates the MURC
with Jennifer Jasper, both from
UBC's Centre for Teaching and
Academic Growth).
The name multidisciphnary
defines both programs, because they
are open, and useful, to students of
all disciplines. "Currently, we have
students studying biochemistry;
engineering; philosophy; economics;
religious studies; medicine; and
earth and ocean sciences, to name
only a few,* says Embree. Mou adds,
"Making the conference multidisciplinary gives [students] an 'opportunity* to chat with folks outside their
discipline and flex their communication skills with people who are probably not familiar with the jargon specific to their discipline.*
Communication, especially across
disciplines, is vitally important for the
generation of new ideas, public support, and research funding. According
to Mou, "Research is great but if we
can't tell people what we're doing and
why it's important it may become
divorced from some of the useful applications that might have been made of
it" Thus, both MURP and MURC have
been designed to hone cross-disciplinary communication skills.
As a former participant of both
MURP and MURC, I found that the
emphases of these tandem programs
supported my growth as a learner in
the ways that I needed most.
Research led to a new appreciation, a
new perspective, and a new way of
thinking about my education.
Applications for the MURP
2006/2007 academic year are due
on May 15th 2006. Alexander Leung
is a fourth-year integrated sciences
What's the best place
to eat on campus and
*I try not to eat on campus. I once
got Norwalk. And oh yah, never
eat the free meat*
—Eric Szeto
Philosophy Graduate
'Curry Point. Can't beat da buttah
—Paul Evans
Arts 2
'After five years of eating at the
SUB, I've never been done wrong
by the Delly.*
—Jesse Marchand
Arts 4
'Bubble Tea Shop, because I like
my food in ball form.*
—Boris Korby
Arts 3
"I try not to eat on campus
because I hope to five past the age
of 35.*
—Claudia Li
—Streeters coordinated by
Carolynne Burkholder and
Yinan Max Wang THEUBYSSEY   Friday, 7 April, 2006
News 19
Students, seniors, and a cross-
dresser in pink cowboy boots were
among the crowd that showed up
for the rally to 'de-elect'
Conservative MP David Emerson
this past Sunday.
It was an upbeat and determined
collective that arrived at Kingcrest
Park for the march past Emerson's
Kingsway office. All were there to
protest his defection to the
Conservatives in early March, just a
week after being voted in as a Liberal
in the federal election.
Alex Boivin, a concerned local resident, organised a letter of legal
action people could sign to support
Emerson's recall. He intends to send
the letter to Industry Canada.
Tt's false advertising. If you buy a
case of Coke and get Pepsi, you could
sue,* Boivin commented.
Boivin remarked that it was
perilous to have a man with a
questionable past involved in
trade negotiations.
'The person across the table is
going to be thinking, is he damaged goods? Is his handshake
Ethan Collister, a fifth-year arts
student, feels that Emerson is cheating those who voted for him.
'Maybe he'll do a good job but One of the most impassioned showing the youth? To jump ship? We are all here in the name of
he's not representing the people speakers was Zoe Miller, a grade 11 To backstab?* Miller asked. democracy,*  said  Mike  Watkins,
who voted for him,* he said adding Kitsilano highschool student Even Conservative voters showed one of the events main organisers
that there should be a law against During     Miller's     emphatic up   to   march  in  the   traditional and a previous national commit-
floor    crossings    because    'this speech he challenged the MP to NDP riding. tee    chair   of   the   Progressive
shouldn't be the thing to do.* run in a by-election. 'What is this 'Nobody got what they wanted. Conservatives. II
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20 News
by Carolynne Burkholder
Students may notice a change in
the way science is taught at UBC
next year when Nobel Prize winner
Carl Wieman puts his theories into
action on campus.
Wieman, who received the
Nobel Prize for physics in 2001,
was also named United States
Professor of the Year in 2004.
When Wieman approached UBC
adrninistration last August, he was
looking for an institution that
shared a similar philosophy about
science education.
'I have some things I'm anxious
to do in improving science education,' said Wieman. 'It really
seemed, after visiting here, that
UBC was a good fit.*
UBC has earmarked $ 12 million
for Wieman's science education
When Wieman begins his term
at UBC next January he will only
teach one class a year, but will be
involved in many more courses
providing expertise in scientific
teaching techniques.
There's been a lot of research over
the last 20 years...that tells us a lot about
the ways people learn and effective
ways to teach and better ways to measure how people learn and understand
things,* Wieman explained. The simplest way to characterise it is taking a
scientific approach to education and
doing careful measures of what
students are thinking in their courses.*
Wieman believes science education should help students develop
their own understanding and not
just recite facts.
'You really have to be actively
engaged in struggling with this and
working it out in your own mind,*
said Wieman.
Jason Klar, a fourth-year chem-.
istry student said students would
benefit if science education became
more relevant and practical.
Third-year biology student,
Fernando Lucero agreed. 'Right
now most science is taught straight
from the textbook,* he said. 'It
would be great if it dealt with real
life problems.*
Wieman said technology has a
place in science education, but not
as a substitute for teaching.
'All educational technologies can
be a disaster, or they can be very
useful,* he said. 'Computers can
help us get a lot more information
from individual students—help us
know what they're thinking, what
background they have, what they're
struggling with—then we can provide much more targeted help.*
To Wieman a comprehensive
science education is vital, not just
for UBC students but for the rest of
the world.
*I think science is awfully important for everybody. And I'm not just
worried about people who are going
to become scientists. I'm more worried about the ones who aren't going
to become scientists,* said Wieman.
"The world's going to fall apart if
people don't understand science,*
he continued. "We're dealing with
issues such as global warming,
genetic modification. If people
make the wrong decisions, the
world is going to be really screwed
up for the next 1,000 years.*
Wieman is optimistic that bis presence at UBC will benefit students.
"Hopefully by the time we're done,
every student will be wanting eagerly
to take science courses because they'll
find them so useful and they'll get a lot
better education,* he said. II
Friday. 7 April, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Nobel prize winner comes to UBC
by Paul Evans
Student uproar has caused the Alma
Mater Society (AMS) to temporarily
suspend plans for the SUB Arcade.
A petition with over 1,000 signatures was presented to AMS council
this past Wednesday and called upon
the student society to reconsider the
announced closure of the Arcade and
allow for proper consultation before
any final decision is made.
Councillors then passed a motion
agreeing to cease any changes to the
SUB Arcade space initiated by the
AMS until the next council meeting.
In the meantime, Council has agreed
to conduct a consultation process
with concerned parties.
On March 28, the Ubyssey reported that the AMS had plans to close the
Arcade no later than July 24 on
account of declining revenues. For
many students this news came as a
surprise, since the only discussion
about whether to shut down the
Arcade had happened at an in camera
session of AMS Council, meaning that
the public was not able to hear what
was said.
It is this secrecy surrounding the
decision that has patrons of the SUB
Arcade up in arms.
"It just seems so cloak and dagger,*
said John Henry, a fourth year
Japanese language student and arcade
For Henry, the Arcade fulfills the
AMS's mandate of providing social
space for students. The AMS say they
want to create more student social
space... [the Arcade is] such abig social
space and they're taking it away,' he
AMS VP Finance Sophia Haque
responded to concerns about a lack of
proper consultation saying that the
AMS was forced to hold discussion in
camera due to union considerations.
'This is an issue we were unable to
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bring forward before it was carried,*
she said. "I understand where students are coming from in feeling
While she stands behind the AMS's
decision to close the facility, she said
she is more than willing to hear arguments from patrons and is supportive
of a consultation process.
Haque clarified that the space within which the SUB Arcade is located will
remain student space and even raised
the possibility of a smaller arcade run
by an outside party.
*We're wanting to put in student
space,* she said. 'The new proposed
spacc.is not a money making space;
it's to benefit the most amount of students.*
While Haque was glad to see so
much student interest on the issue,
she was realistic about its prospects.
*I think [the petition] will have very
little impact on the decision that has
already been made/ she said.
But for Henry and others, the
Arcade's closure will be unfortunate,
and they look forward to the opportunity of voicing their concerns.
"The arcade is a place you go to
unwind and relax. People need a
place like that,* he said. 'It's not like
the end of the world, but it's important to us.* 11
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