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The Ubyssey Jan 12, 2007

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Array The Ubyssey and
the quest for the
.pages 4 & 5
Friday, 12 January, 2007
Don't shit where you sleep you inverted ovaries sucker since 1918
ue South?
Get in my
Canadian rapper opens for Snoop Dogg this weekend (3)
reaking and filtering
This winter holiday wasn't very friendly to our Chan (7)
UBC closer than ever to joining NCAA (8) Culture
Friday, 12 January, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
If only /lrf/7£/r had been invisible
opens today
By Jesse Ferreras
Say it ain't so, Luc.
Please tell me that the visionary filmmaker
behind La Femme Nikita, The Professional and
The Fifth Element has not degenerated to the
point of having to write his name in the director's credit for the dreck that is Arthur and the
Invisibles. Someone tell me that my viewing of
the film was just a hallucination from the powerful drugs I have had to ingest in order to quell
the pain from my incoming wisdom teeth.
Perhaps warning bells should have sounded
in my head when the first confirmed cast
members for Luc Besson's latest directorial
effort were Madonna, Snoop Dogg and David
Bowie. Still, I held up hope for seven years that
Besson would bounce back from the historically-
skewed stinker that was 1999's The Messenger:
The Story of Joan of Arc.
Besson, a pioneer of France's "cinema du
look" movement, unfortunately does not redeem
himself with an $80 million CGI-animated fantasy that would have faded away with the rest of
the pathetic 3D features that have been released
in the past two years were it not for its directorial weight. Rumours are that Besson, now having
made his tenth film, will sever himself of future
directorial responsibility and focus on his more
successful producing efforts. That may be the
smartest thing he could do at this point.
Arthur (Freddie Highmore), a 12-year-old boy
with a passion for aqueducts, lives alone in an
aging country home with his Granny (Mia
Farrow). His parents spend most of their time
away on business that occupies them to the
point that they are never home for his birthday.
He lives in his imagination most of the time,
feeding off the fantastical tales of his grandfather Archibald's adventures in Africa, who
befriended two tribes: the Matassalai, a large
people who guard the gateway to the Minimoys,
a small elvish people who are a cross between
troll dolls and the creepily realistic children
from the film adaptation of The Polar Express.
Through a chance encounter with these peoples,
later recounted in his journals, Archibald
acquired riches in the form of a pile of red
rubies that he thereafter buried in his backyard
once he returned home. They gain a new measure of importance when the cruelly bureaucratic
Davido comes to Arthur's home and threatens to
seize the land. That leaves it up to Arthur to save
the day—in an act of desperation, he calls upon
the Matassalai to open the gateway to the
Minimoy kingdom. Once there, he enlists the
help of the bitchy 1,000-year-old princess
Selenia (Madonna). Together they must retrieve
the rubies from the hands of the evil Malthazar
(David Bowie, channeling his Goblin King from
Labyrinth) and hopefully return in time to repay
Davido and keep the land in his Valium-addicted
grandmother's hands.
The biggest problem with Arthur and the
Invisibles is that it never slows down to flesh out
its characters or allow the audience to care about
them. Besson seems hooked on the quick-paced
characterisation he established for himself in
The Fifth Element, allowing his story's personages to come off quirky but never likable, with
the exception of the title character, who benefits
considerably from Highmore's sensitive performance—that he extracts even a few touching
moments is owed completely to his acting alone.
That's more than can be said for anyone else,
whose performances come off too cartoon-like
in the live-action scenes and too dull once the
film adds two more dimensions. The vocal performances range anywhere from bored (Robert
De Niro) to downright aggravating (Jimmy
Fallon), although Madonna is perfectly convincing as a thousand-year-old diva preying on a 12-
year-old boy. The spiritless performances mar
the beauty of some spectacularly colourful animation in the land of the Minimoys.
It's a real shame that a filmmaker like
Besson, who has shown such incredible vision in
the past, would resort to material that, while
visually appealing, inspires no enchantment in
its audience despite a fantastical story about a
young boy descending Alice-like into a new
world. Maybe it really is time for Besson to hang
up his director's cap. At the very least, he should
never foray into animated children's films ever
again. Either way, he'll be doing critics a favour
if it spares them the pain of seeing anything like
Arthur in future—because, frankly, they're the
only ones who will see it. @
Ending Prohibition
Jan. 15, 8:00pm
Carnegie Centre
Jan. 12, 7:30pm
Bud Osborn and Creative
A discussion on the Rock 'n' Roll
social movements with a focus on
folk by Kevin Hutchings.
Resistance present a lecture on
the "Regulation, Not Prohibition"
Buddhist Mediation
of drugs.
UBC Asian Centre
Jan. 19-21
A three-day workshop on a
Brave New Play Rites
somatic approach to Buddhist
Fredric Wood Theatre
Jan. 14, 10:00am-5:00pm, Jan
More info at
15, 6:45-10:00pm
All actors are called upon to audi
tion to "become part of a fearless
Terror Talk
ly creative tradition at UBC," a
festival featuring a series of one-
Room 104, Lassarre
act plays.
Jan. 19, 6:30pm
More info at www.bravenew.ca
Loretta Napoleoni, known for
having calculated the size of the
Rock 'n' Resistance
terror economy, speaks on "The
Fairmont Social Lounge, St.
New Economy of Terror Before
John s College
and After 911."
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Friday, 12 January, 2007
Editorial Board
coordinating editor Erie Szeto
coordina ting@ubyssey.be.ca
news editors  Brandon Adams &d
Colleen Tang
news@ubyssey.be. ca
culture editor Jesse Ferreras
culture@ubyssey.be. ca
sports editor Boris Korby
sports@ubyssey.be. ca
features/national EDITOR
Momoko Price
photo editor Oker Chen
Champagne Choquer
productio n@ubyssey.be. ca
copy editor Levi Barnett
research/letters Andrew MacRae
feedback@ubyssey.be. ca
webmaster Matthew Jewkes
webmaster@ ubyssey. bc.ca
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 Society or the
University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in
The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein
cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission
of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
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 over 300 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. All letters must be received by
12 noon the day before intended publication. Letters received after
this point will be published in the following issue unlessthere is an
urgent time restriciton or other matter deemed relevant by the
Ubyssey staff.
It is agreed by all 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, BCV6T1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubysseybc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax: 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertlsing@ubyssey.bc.ca
business manager Fernie Pereira
ad sales Cynthia Zhao
ad design Shalene Takara
ad traffic Simon Underwood
It was one funky evening, as Eva Lillquist and Kasha Chang
rocked out to the Candice Okada that was pumping out over the
speakers. Unfortunately, a Colleen Tang broke out when Brandon
Adams, Jesse Ferreras and Boris Korby had some fundamentally
different values than Momoko Price, and Oker Chen's drink ended
up on Champagne Coquer's head. When all the Levi Barnett was
mopped up, Paul Bucci and Andrew MacRae dutifully threw
them out, under the watchful eye of the sinister Matthew
Michael Bround
University      Canada Post Sales Agreement
Number 0040878022 THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 12 January, 2007
Belly makes room for Canadian rap
by Kian Mintz-Woo
The first thing that strikes me about the rapper
Belly (a.k.a. Rebellyus) is his voice. It's deep, resonant, and filled with perseverance. He has
scored Top 10 hits with Massari, had a mix tape
hosted by DJ Kay Slay, and worked on music
with rap legends like Scarface; he just doesn't
stop. Again and again, he tells me that music is
all about the work ethic you bring to  it.
"When we play the game, we play for the
risk. We play to go all out. To bring quality to the
music, a lot of people appreciate that," he said.
Belly's "Pressure," a new video with
Ginuwine, is highly indicative of his "all-or-
nothing" stance. Capital Prophet Records gave
him the highest budget for any Canadian rap
video in history. The result, directed by the
ubiquitous RT! with artistic direction by Little
X, has the same level of bling and flash as any
major label American rap video with one
small difference: Belly shouts out to Canada
and Montreal in his verses.
He managed to score some major
cameos for the video, including WWE legend Hulk Hogan and BET's Mad Linx. His
excitement is palpable.
"A couple times I just had to stop and look
around at these people. That day we made history," explained Belly.
The song itself features Belly's husky vocals
contrasting with Ginuwine over candy synths.
"Pressure" is the lead single on Belly's
debut album entitled The Revolution. While
recording the album, he said that collaborating with artists like Scarface and Fabolous
allowed him to watch and learn. When I asked
him what he saw when he watched Scarface,
he told me that the artist was all business.
They got in the studio and went straight to
work laying down the vocals. It was only later
that they could sit down and talk.
North of the border, Belly feels that the rap
scene needs to expand.
"I was number 19 CHR [contemporary hit
radio] and the highest charting rap artist in the
country. [Nineteen] was the highest position,
not   number   three,    or   one,    or    nine."
He said that Canadian labels don't give the
artists the support they need in order to
expand the mainstream, so audiences are
therefore stuck with perennial lukewarm hits
that are written just to fizzle up and down the
He has to get ready to produce his tour CD
and he says the DJ is coming in tomorrow.
"No sleep," Belly complained.
Belly's debut album will determine his place
in Canadian hip hop history but until then, this
tour needs to be evidence of the time and effort
that Belly puts into hip hop.
Belly will be coming to Vancouver to open
for Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube on Saturday,
January 13. The Revolution is set to be released
in spring of this year. @
Eragon can slay dragons, but not expectations
now playing
by Jesse Ferreras
The Lord of the Rings trilogy established big-
budget fantasy epics as a staple of the holiday
season six years ago. It has brought the genre
some of the best business it has seen since the
80s, when enchanting films such as E.T.,
Explorers and Legend were cast across the
screen. Eventually, however, the magic began
to lose steam with audiences, and the modern
fantasy has now begun its decline with Eragon,
2006's entry into the sword-and-sorcery trend.
First-time director Stefan Fangmeier fashions
a satisfactorily entertaining adventure that
stands fine on its own, but is unfortunately
marred by the precedent that has already been
set by Rings and Narnia.
In a story that sticks incestuously close to
Joseph Campbell's hero's journey,  Eragon
(newcomer Ed Speelers) is a farm-boy living in
a common-day hunt, totally unaware of the war
that is brewing around him. For example, one
day out hunting in the forest, he misses his kill
when a magical blue stone flashes literally
before his eyes. Little does he know that it has
been sent to him by a warrior (Sienna Guillory)
fleeing the sorcerer Derza (Robert Carlyle,
channeling Rings' Grima Wormtongue) who is
attempting to retrieve the stone for his master,
the evil Galbatorix (John Malkovich.) Eragon
brings it home to the farm, only to realise that
he has been unwittingly nursing a dragon—the
cutest one ever put on film. The dragon, named
Saphira and voiced subliminally by Rachel
Weisz, turns out to be the last of its kind and
the focal point of a war brewing between the
king and the peoples of Alayasia, who were
once protected by a race of dragon-riders that
were thereafter defeated and exiled by
Galbatorix. Once taken under the wing of former rider Brom (Jeremy Irons,) Eragon flees
the hut and is thrust into battle against the
king, helped along by the relationship he forms
with his dragon and the prophecy that decrees
he will restore peace to Alayasia.
If I were forced to rank Eragon against the
fantasies that have preceded it, I would place it
somewhere above Narnia but far below the
Rings cycle. Unlike the C.S. Lewis adaptation,
the characters are believable and the relationships with the animistic CGI creatures around
them are far more convincing. Ed Speelers
may seem too young to be a convincing hero,
but he has more than enough dignity and
restraint to keep him from coming off sucky
and weak—exactly the characteristics that
made Narnia s Prince Peter not only an unrealistic hero but a damned annoying one at that.
The CGI effects are spectacular as expected, but
they have not progressed much since
Dragonheart in creating a living, fearsome fire-
The real problem with Eragon is not so
much its content as its inability to stand out
from recent epic fantasies. Elements such as
special effects, light battles and an adorable
dragon are all certain to help make the film a
hit with a younger crowd, but it does not stand
out from similar fare. It's a good story that
moves along at a reasonable pace and even finishes at an acceptable length, but audiences
are as likely to connect with it emotionally as
they would a bedtime story they had heard a
thousand times before.
Eragon is a lot of fun, but if too many more
epic fantasies are made within the next few
years, it runs the risk of being melted down
with all the others. @
The Ubyssey
needs help!
Financial help,
that is.
Wednesday,  January
1 7th at the Caprice
(967  Granville)
Tickets $7, available
IN   SUB   24.
See ydu there!
STARTS FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 Friday, 12 January, 2007    THE UBYSSEY
THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 12 January, 2007
]-od, tAe 6ad and' tAe
/t.. .Best and worst films of 2006
by Greg Ursic and Jesse Ferreras, Photos by Oker Chen
The best...
Letters From Iwo Jima
The companion piece to Flags of Our
Fathers, Letters examines the battle for
Iwo Jima stripped of the bravado and jingoism. Unique in that it tells the story
from the perspective of the Japanese
grunts as they struggle against dysentery,
flagging spirits and a code that demands
death before surrender, it is bleak and
bloodier than its predecessor. It also
touches viewers on an emotional level,
exploring such universal themes as
doubt, fear and love. Brilliant performances by Ken Watanabe and Kazunari
Ninomiya are reason enough to see this
film. But when one takes into account the
stunning cinematography, flawless pacing, visceral battle sequences and outstanding screenplay there simply was no
other film this year that could touch it. —
Little Miss Sunshine
A family's idiosyncrasies are exacerbated when they're trapped in a van on a
cross-country road trip. A masterfully
witty black comedy, Sunshine also
includes bona fide dramatic elements, no
small feat when you consider many films
can't succeed in either genre. It boasts a
solid ensemble cast of both veterans-
Alan Arkin's return alone was worth the
price of admission—and newcomers.
Flawlessly written, it embraces subtlety (I
find something new with every viewing)
as well as outrage and features some of
the most innovative cinematography I've
seen in a long time. Cookie-cutter it ain't.
Hands down the most refreshing film I
saw last year. — G U.
Sisters try to deal with economic hardship, family strife, and skeletons in the
closet, both literal and figurative. This is
the film that wowed audiences at Cannes,
and for good reason: filmed in director
Pedro Almodovar's homeland it also features near perfect direction and editing,
an engaging, grounded story and a solid
supporting cast (which won the best
ensemble cast award.) Penelope Cruz
shines—sadly relegated to various "hot
doctor" roles in American cinema, her
return to Spanish cinema yields her
strongest performance to date, as she
effortlessly fleshes out a multi-faceted, at
times morally ambiguous character, all
the while looking outstandingly vibrant
The Queen
Royal decorum and public sentiment
clash in the aftermath of Princess
Diana's death. While addressing some
interesting concepts (i.e. what should
people expect from the head of an institution that is an anachronism) the
Queen is first and foremost a character
study. James Cromwell is perfectly foppish as Prince Phillip while Michael
Sheen nails Tony Blair (the younger,
savvy populist one that is.) It is Helen
Mirren's uncanny portrayal of QE2,
however, that keeps you riveted: in addition to being a virtual doppelganger,
Mirren mastered her mannerisms. In
addition to the requisite withering
glares, Mirren imbues her with an
indelible sense of humanity. Look for
her come Oscar time. — G.U.
Little Children
A bored housewife hooks up with a
hunky househusband while they watch
their kids and keep on the look-out for
a recently released pedophile. Kate
Winslet thrives as a woman who undergoes an evolution, and her screen time
with Patrick Wilson positively sizzles.
This is matched by a persistent feeling
of foreboding—no matter how good
things get, you expect it to go horribly
wrong at any moment. Jackie Earle
Haley (last seen 20 years ago in The
Bad News Bears) oozes creepy as the
paroled pedophile. Snappy dialogue,
genuine characters, unusual narration,
and great pacing complete this edgy
tour de force.— G.U.
Children of Men
After 19 years of global infertility
and chaos, a former activist is called
upon to help get a pregnant young
woman to safe haven. Alfonso Cuaron's
dystopian view of the near future takes
its cues from the legacy of a post-Bush
world (i.e. Britain's Homeland Security
division that jails all immigrants.)
Strong performances by Clive Owen,
Michael Caine and Chiwetel Ejiofor
abound, but they take a backseat to the
visuals, which look like a darker, grittier
version of Blade Runner. There are also
several lengthy one-shot sequences, like
the car chase near the beginning, that
are astonishing. The film looks so great
that you can almost overlook the weak
spots in the script. Cuaron also deserves
credit for not having a single flying car.
United 93
Unfortunately avoided by audiences who weren't ready to revisit
9/11, Paul Greengrass' dramatised recreation of the events that took place
on the one flight that didn't hit its target shuns patriotic jingoism in favour
of harsh realism. As the story unfolds
both on the plane and in U.S. air traffic control centres, United 93 never
latches on to a single character as its
hero, nor does it demonise its terrorists, who come off as pawns, clearly
under the influence of an unseen foe
with no way out of what they are about
to do. Rarely does a film make me
sweat and grip the arms of my seat,
but United 93 does just that with brilliant direction, a breakneck pace and
jump-cut editing that literally makes
your heart beat right out of your chest.
The Departed
It's not often that a film's opening
shot sums up a character as effectively as that of Martin Scorsese's latest
feature. But once it hits the screen and
you see Jack Nicholson's mob boss
Frank Costello strolling through shadows to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme
Shelter," you know right away that he
is Satan himself. Scorsese here
returns to the genre with which he
established his career, successfully
transferring the HK thriller Infernal
Affairs to the foul-mouthed streets of
Boston, where the all-star cast play off
one another brilliantly. Leonardo
DiCaprio is riveting as the rough-and-
tumble Billy Costigan, who struggles
against the corrupt antics of Matt
Damon's Colin Sullivan, a cop on
Costello's payroll. Though the narrative wraps itself up too hastily with
some unrealistic twists towards the
end, The Departed is still Scorsese's
best film since Casino. —J.F.
Manufactured Landscapes
Al Gore took the lion's share of publicity for this year's troupe of eco-calyp-
tic films, but Canadian filmmaker
Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured
Landscapes makes a great companion
piece. Her documentary follows photographer Edward Burtynsky as he breath-
takingly captures images of landscapes
changed completely by industrialisation, exposing in the process a hidden,
twisted beauty. Images of the Three
Gorges Dam, textiles factories and rust
from beached oil tankers blending into
the shores of Bangladesh become their
own aesthetic—this despite the fact that
they come from some of the most environmentally damaged corners of the
planet. I am a little uneasy with making
industrialised landscapes a thing of
beauty, but the film's imagery is unforgettable, especially when one considers
that humans find art even in the decimation of nature , as this film does.
...the worst...
Harsh Times
A slacker-turned-Special Ops killer
returns to the US after his tour of duty
in Iraq and discovers that he no longer
fits in with the American Dream. This
piece of crap earns its "Worst of" status
for the repeated use of the words
"homey", "the Man" and "dude" by
characters who are neither black gang
members nor surfers. Someone even
utters the insipid line "You broke the
homey code man!" If I had my way he
would be shot on principle. Add an
utterly predictable, ludicrous plotline
and Eva Longoria as a lawyer, and I
rest my case. Harsh indeed... — G.U.
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest
It's got high-seas battles, swashbuckling swordfights, great special
effects and a sea-monster—then why is
it so boring? The original (the first of a
planned trilogy, with Disney not yet
ruling out the possibility of a fourth)
was a surprise and a delight, heretofore one of the most entertaining
Hollywood films of the 21s^ Century. In
Dead Man's Chest, producer Jerry
Bruckheimer trades in the witty dia
logue of the first film for relentless
non-stop action, forgetting entirely the
charm that made Johnny Depp's Jack
Sparrow so endearing in The Curse of
the Black Pearl. All the action is wonderfully staged but after 20 straight
minutes of fighting, you just become
winded (and the film offers nothing in
between.) —J.F.
The Da Vinci Code
This much-anticipated adaptation
of Dan Brown's addictive bestseller
effectively put an end to the hype that
produced countless books and documentaries, as well as the subsequent
desecration of ancient holy sites in
Europe believed to hold the Catholic
Church's darkest secrets. Tom Hanks'
bizarre hairstyle is the least of this
film's worries, and it made it officially impossible to take his character
Robert Langdon seriously. The basic
problem is that Ron Howard's film
smacks of a rush job. With sloppy
direction, graceless editing and an
overbearing score by Hans Zimmer, it
brings scenes of Paul Bettany's ascetic
self-torture to a level of camp. Still, a
sloppy attempt at filmmaking has not
stopped the film from earning millions of dollars at the box office. Opus
Dei, take note—if you sue now, you
will make millions! —J.F.
The Break-Up
A couple breaks up and each tries to
drive the other out of the condo they
share. Imagine you're at a restaurant
with your best friend and his partner
when they suddenly launch into a
vicious screaming match, where things
are said that can never be taken back
and you can't leave. That's how I felt
about this film. I went in expecting a
light comedy with a few laughs, and
instead was subjected to 90 minutes of
uncomfortable, vicious character
assassination that left me squirming.
A classic case of misleading marketing,
what amazes me was that this thing
actually made money. Hated it! — G U.
All the King's Men
A slick talking country boy talks his
way into a governorship where he falls
prey to graft and corruption. This film
proves the maxim that a pedigreed cast
does not an Oscar winner make. With
numerous plot holes, a marathon runtime (which feels even longer thanks to
glacial pacing), a disingenuous doomed-
love subplot, characters you don't care
about and a ridiculously melodramatic
finale this movie deserved its honour as
the most savaged entry at the Toronto
International Film Festival. — G U.
...and the Shyamalan.
Lady in the Water
M. Night Shyamalan's latest film,
rejected by the Walt Disney Company
after he refused to show them his
script, is the best defense for allowing
artistic input from producers. From
the opening sequence with its scattered narration and crude drawings
to the rambling, uninteresting story
peopled with one dimensional, borderline-racist characters, we despised
this film. Lady in the Water professes
to be a bedtime story about a "narf," a
kind of ethereal water-nymph who
changes the life of a simple superintendent and other residents of a complex, but we would probably read
Frankenstein to our kids before even
considering exposing them to this
hubristic tripe. Now pass us a bucket,
one of us is going to narf...
- G.U. and J.F.®
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The most painful
part of a dental
visit is the bill
And the best remedy is preventive care with a Plan that offers
$500 coverage for dental visits. Before visiting a dentist,
please consult your Health & Dental Plan Reference Guide
or visit www.studentcare.net for complete coverage details.
Change-of-Coverage Period
Additional enrolments and opt outs for new WinterTerm 2
students must be completed between Jan. 8 - 29, 2007.
AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan
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Room 61, Student Union Building, Lower Level
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613S SUB Boulevard
Toll-free: 1 S77 795-4421
Santa might not be here
anymore but that doesn't
mean the winter partying
Come drink for cheap at
the Ubyssey FUNdraiser!!
Wednesday, January 1 7
Caprice Nightclub
(967 Granville Street)
TIX: $7
Dial (604) 822-2301 for
details or come to room
SUB 24 to buy a ticket
production@gmail.com Opinion/Editorial
Friday, 12 January, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Who needs a degree when you can buy one?
Think you'd make a better-looking university figurehead than
Stephen Toope? Got a sugar
daddy with deep pockets and
desktop publishing software?
Here's a simple ten-step guide
to starting up your own private
post-secondary institution in
British Columbia without breaking a sweat:
(1) Think of a clever name
(Royal   Institute of Boobology,
(2) Find a location and/or web
domain (www.RIB.edu)
(3) Create a logo and mission
statement in Latin that no one
understands (ie. Tuum Est)
(4) Start website that does not
offer contact information except
by email with Google™ and singles advertisements. (Meet with
local area singles just like you!)
(5) Offer non-existent
courses/degrees (BA Boobology)
(6) Charge exorbitant annual fees
(7) Avoid government summons
(subpoenas) for illegal operation
(8) Charge more exorbitant annual fees
(9) Continue to avoid government summons
(10) Rinse, repeat (What else can
you do with a B. Boobology these
It's become so easy to start
your own private post-secondary
school in BC that it seems like
any group of rag-tag students
can cobble together an institution offering a Bachelor's or professional degree. And as it turns
out, a BA Boobology would probably be just as valuable as any of
the other controversial pseudo-
degrees offered by the following
establishments of education:
Kingston College—brought to
you by the Kingston Education
Group—was shut down last
October when the Private
Career Training Institutions
Agency (PCTIA) determined
that the college had been misleading its students and the
government for the past six
years. Still, the owner of the
group managed to avoid government reprimand on three
separate occasions between
2001 and 2004 and it was only
after a mob of disgruntled students came forward with complaints that they were being
denied their degrees when the
incident was made public.
Other schools like Vancouver
University, Rutherford University
and Cape Breton University have
also been cited to be operating
illegally. There are suspicions
that more are at large.
How can this be happening,
you ask? Look no further than the
lack of enforcement of the Degree
Authorisation Act—legislation
ostensibly in place to discourage
abuse of our private post-secondary accreditation system.
The counterfeit degrees circulating within our network of
private post-secondary institutions have become such a
problem that the Chinese government now urges students
planning to study in BC to only
consider public institutions or
go somewhere else entirely.
While the Chinese
Education Ministry makes a
clear distinction between private and public post-secondary
institutions in BC, the recommendation cast a negative
light on the quality of the private post-secondary education
in our province. One can only
wonder how badly our international image will falter with
the growing number of degree
mills and fraudulent post-secondary institutions in BC
But, thanks to scandal, the
tide might change. Though the
public has demanded accountability on this issue in the past,
China's attempts to quarantine
our contaminated private school
community has resulted in those
in power finally addressing the
legislative loopholes and inconsistent enforcement that allowed
these institutions to operate here
illegally in the first place.
Hopefully the government,
in addressing the situation,
will go beyond merely making
on-paper amendments and
make a real attempt to crack
down on why British Columbia
is spawning such high levels of
institutional fraud. Because
the situation begs the unsettling question: is the standard
of undergraduate education in
our province still as focused
on vigorous intellectual training, or do these dubious universities indicate an education
system now centred primarily
around credentials instead of
quality? @
What do you think your degree will do for you when you graduate?
—Ben Lo
Commerce, 2
"Get me a better
job and more
—Samantha Lee
Nutrition, 3
"Qualifiesyou but
doesn't guarantee
you a job."
—Florence Tsand
Economics, 3
"I'm in Psychology
now and am
going into
understand the
human psyche will
help me in
—Jacky Dicroce
Psychology, 3
"It's a $20,000 piece
of paper that
makes people feel
-Shang Wu
Science, 1
—Coordinated by Oker Chen and Matthew Jewkes
^J     </*
%S%   ft*
»   fD THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 12 January, 2007
No leads in theft at Chan Centre
With a break and enter at the Chan
Centre for the Performing Arts,
Santa wasn't the only one sneaking
into buildings over the Christmas
RCMP reports indicate between
$10,000 and $15,000 worth of
tools, alcohol and electrical equipment was  stolen  from the  Chan
Centre on December 9, 2006.
"The break-in occurred between
the ninth of December at about 11
o'clock at night and the next morning," said Constable Driscoll of the
UBC RCMP detachment.
Cameron McGill, associate managing director of facilities and operations at the Chan Centre, explained
that there were no signs of forced
entry into the Chan Centre and they
were unsure how the thieves gained
access to the building.
While Constable Driscoll was
unwilling to comment on the existence of suspects or leads in the
case, McGill did say that he was
unaware of any leads or suspects.
"We did have a minor [case of
theft] about eight years ago," said
McGill. The Chan's security was also
tested when the building was scaled
by an unauthorised urban explorer
soon after it opened in 1997.
Despite these incidents, McGill said
the Chan Centre does not have any
security cameras.
"We are working with UBC
Security to review our practices to
see if we need to make any adjustments," said McGill.
Constable Driscoll asked that
anyone with information regarding
the theft contact the UBC detachment of the RCMP. @
—Brandon Adams, News Editor
New online community aims for campus-wide forum
by Victor Liang
Can Yorgancioglu, creator of the website www.ubcfuse.com is aspiring to
create a massive, centralised online
community here on campus.
Yorgancioglu feels his creation
will supply a proper forum dedicated
to all voices in the UBC community of
over 40,000 students.
"A massive online forum for UBC
will be an extremely effective and
useful tool for the students of UBC,"
he said, "Just imagine, thousands of
students online, asking questions
and sharing ideas. This will be a very
powerful way to get your voice heard
since you're potentially speaking to
the entire staff and student [population] of UBC."
Currently, users of the forum can
expect to find a variety of discussion
topics, from typical school topics like
classes, housing and UBC events to
more personal or unusual topics like
the recent snowstorm, the judicial
controversies surrounding marijuana and the utility of the fence in front
of the BirdCoop bus loop.
Yorgancioglu hopes that as the
popularity of the website grows it
will become a powerful tool for fast
and easy access to relevant student
information such as where people
can learn about career opportunities, solve homework problems, or
find a decent Chinese restaurant
along West Broadway.
The present challenge,Yorga-
ncioglu noted, is to make the
forum a truly active one with thousands of members.
"When people come across an
empty forum, they simply do not
post It's just like being in an empty
room, why would you stay and talk to
only a few people when you could go
into another room and talk to 10,000
people? UBC does not have 'another
room' and I'm determined to make
this website the number one online
discussion forum for UBC," he said,
adding that it is only a matter of the
willingness of the UBC community to
start using the forum.
"[UBCFuse] is run and built by students so it remains in touch with
what the students are thinking," said
Mark Hobbs, whose web design company, Spartan Innovations, helped
produce the website.
Hobbs shares Yorgancioglu's
enthusiasm and hopes the forum will
be a great place for UBC students to
come together.
Campus  &  Community  Planning
South Campus Neighbourhood
Park Space Design Open House
January 18, 2007     6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Lecture Theatre, Michael Smith Laboratories, 2185 East Mall
Presentation @ 7 pm        Open House to follow
For directions visit www.maps.ubc.ca More information on this project is available on the
C&CP website: www.planning.ubc.ca/corebus/southcampus.html
Questions: Jim Charlebois, Community Planner, C&CP e-mail: jim.charlebois@ubc.ca; tel: 604-822-4169
"UBCFuse was an extraordinarily exciting project for Spartan
Innovations to work on because we
were faced with the challenge [of]
bringing students together, providing common ground for the students and making a site that could
adapt with the changing demands
of the users," said Hobbs.
While UBCFuse is in its early
stages and currently functions as a
discussion forum, the website has
the ability for instant messaging,
video uploads and other customis-
able features.
The important task for Yorgancioglu is to spread the word about
his website and attract students,
many of whom are frequent users of
other online social networks such as
Facebook and MySpace.
"I haven't heard about [UBCFuse]
until now, but I think it sounds like a
great idea," said Brian Lee, a second-
year commerce student, "though I'd
have to check it out first to say
whether or not I would make it a
forum I'd consistently visit and
use...I'm already on Facebook a lot
and there I conveniently already have
a strong network of friends and colleagues from campus."
Yorgancioglu believes that if the
UBC community makes an effort to
invest in UBCFuse, the potential is
there to create something that will
become a part of the life of every UBC
student from the past and present is.
"I'm asking all the students and
faculty of UBC to have the foresight to
see how important this website will
be for them...In the end it's all about
empowering and connecting the
[UBC community]." @
Come to the Ubyssey's NASH fundraiser party!
...or homoerotic Santa will visit you in your sleep
on a night other than Christmas eve.
Spare yourself from spunk—
Buy tickets SUB room 24
Cheaper than normal cover! 8
Friday, 12 January, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
UBC gets green light from NCAA
University takes "first step" towards joining
United States collegiate sports giant
by Boris Korby
Admist all the hoopla that
accom-panied the BCS National
Championship game on Monday
was a small announcement at the
NCAA's annual convention in
Orlando that might very well be the
first step towards UBC's admittance
into the NCAA—the largest and
most financially lucrative collegiate
sports organisation in the world.
NCAA President Myles Brand, following approval by the executive
committee, introduced a ten-year
pilot program to allow international
schools to seek membership into the
American sports giant.
"This is not a massive change,
but conceptually it's an interesting
change," said Brand, adding that the
decision would likely only affect no
more than three schools.
So far UBC and St Claire's College
in Ontario have been the only institutions to express interest.
While the NCAA did not mention
UBC specifically, University Director
of Athletics and Recreation Bob
Philip has no doubt the decision was
made specifically as a result of the
interest UBC has expressed in joining the NCAA.
"The decision was certainly initiated by our interaction with the
NCAA," said Philip.
According to Philip, the next step
towards submitting an official application will be to evaluate the conditions attached to foreign university
acceptance, followed by a campus
wide university engagement that
will evaluate what is needed—both
from UBC and the community at
large—to compete successfully
against American programs.
"We want to make sure everybody is comfortable with [switching
to the NCAA]," said Philip. "We are
not now coming back and saying we
want the students to pay twice as
many fees or we want to get a whole
bunch of students [into UBC] who
aren't qualified."
"To be successful down there
we'd have to be able to attract the
top Canadian athletes...and there
are people that have expressed an
interest—if we competed at the
NCAA level—in generating a lot of
support for scholarships."
While UBC would still need the
NCAA's three divisions to change
their legislation before a Canadian
university could join, Philip said
the sources he is engaged with
assure him this would be "almost
a formality."
The University expects to be in
contact with the NCAA in the upcoming week regarding the specific
intent of the announcement and to
clarify a few details. However the
Department of Athletics considers
Monday's announcement the ideal
outcome to a courtship process they
have been engaged in for more than
20 months.
"We do need to hear from the
NCAA what the conditions would be
[for entrance]...but obviously the door
has now been opened for us."
"We're happy that the doors have
been opened, now once we hear what
that means we'll have that debate and
see where we go." @
2007 President's Service Award
For Excellence Nominations
The committee is seeking nominations of
outstanding staff and faculty who have made
distinguished service to the university.
For a nomination form, please go to
ujuyu). ceremonies .ubc.ca
Please mail nominations to:
Deadline for nominations is Feb 28, 2007
Advanced Placement into Financial Management
If you want a career in Accounting, Finance or Financial Planning, BCIT can help you get there
quickly by building on your university degree. With your university degree in any field, you may
be eligible to earn a diploma in Financial Management in Accounting or Finance in just one
year. Then, prepare for entry into the CA, CMA, CGA, CFP or CFA programs and earn your
professional designation. Put your degree to work and accelerate your path to a rewarding
career in Financial Management.
Begin prerequisite classes now for September 2007 entry.
For more information:
Tim Edwards, Associate Dean
DUE SOUTH? Games against NCAA schools such as Stanford may soon be
a common occurence at UBC. richard lam photo
Wicked winter
winds down trees
Meteorologist predicts more stormy weather
by Jesse Ferreras
The strong winds that have been
ripping branches off the trees
are likely to continue into March,
forecasts UBC meteorologist Douw
Warnings were issued this week
for the Greater Vancouver area with
winds predicted to reach up to 90
km/h. Similar winds have been hitting coastal BC since December 16
and have resulted in power outages
affecting a record 250,000 people,
according to Environment Canada.
This week's winds toppled
a tree across Wesbrook Mall
near Nurseries Road at the BC
Research Centre which consequently
knocked out the power in the
University Village for approximately
four hours on Tuesday night No
injuries have been reported.
"These are extreme winds in this
region, even in [the] wintertime,"
said Douw Steyn, professor at the
department of earth and ocean sciences at UBC. "In the short term, [the
winds dissipated] in six or eight
hours when the storm passed over
us. But behind this storm there will
be another one."
"In the longer term, come March,
we will see a decline in the intensity
of storms," he said. "Through April
and May there will be very few and in
July and August we see no cyclonic
storms at all."
Steyn explained that the winds are
being caused by successive cyclonic
storms that have been hitting the
Lower Mainland in recent weeks. He
said that the powerful gusts are the
result of strong pressure gradients—
the rate and direction of air pressure—in the storm.
"The winds we're experiencing
now will be covering most of the central coast of BC," Steyn said. "The
pressure gradients in the cyclone are
strong. [They are] strong because
there is a lot of energy in it."
"The stronger the pressure gradient, the stronger the pressure difference, the stronger the wind."
David Smith, landscape and
grounds supervisor at UBC Plant
Operations, said that similar storms
on campus have resulted in the loss
of 11 trees since late November.
Smith said he has never heard of any
students being injured by falling
trees or branches.
-David Smith
Grounds Supervisor,
UBC Plant Ops
He did, however, warn of the dangers of standing near a row of
Douglas Firs because of their loose
"You get little branches, [they]
blow out of trees, but they're really
not a hazard," he said. "Getting
whacked in the head by one wouldn't
be much fun, but they're really not
going to hurt you."
Steve Mitchell, associate professor in the Faculty of Forestry, pointed
to high areas of land, such as
Prospect Point in Stanley Park, as
most vulnerable to extreme winds.
"In terms of where in the landscape trees are most likely to become
damaged by wind, it's when you have
areas of higher-than-average wind
exposure," he said. "So peninsulas
like ours, sticking out into the Strait,
[where] you have a lot of water
around you; the winds are faster
across water than they are across
land." @


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