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The Ubyssey Apr 12, 2007

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Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Train more nurses to train nurses
Pilot project to solve
nursing shortage
by Nicholas Cheung
A pilot project totaling $4 million, funded by both the federal
and provincial governments,
will aim to solve the persisting
problem of nursing shortages in
British Columbia. Monte Solberg,
the federal minister of human resources and social development,
announced this multi-million dollar initiative early last week as
part of the BC Nursing Strategy,
emphasizing the recruitment and
retention of nurses.
According to the New England
Journal of Medicine, low numbers
of nurses correlate with longer
hospital stays, patient complications, and even death. In an attempt to solve the problem, the
provincial government has spent
over $146 million since 2001 on
the BC Nursing Strategy, which includes increasing the number of
nursing spaces in universities, upgrading training for new nurses,
and encouraging more aboriginal
people to go into nursing.
Nevertheless, health ministry spokeswoman Sarah Plank
revealed that there are currently
2000 unfilled nursing positions
in BC. According to her, filling
many of these positions could be
difficult, as they are special nursing positions which require more
qualifications and training.
"It's definitely a looming issue," said Plank.
The shortage of nurses has
already taken its toll on the current nursing workforce. According to Patricia Weir, communications officer and policy analyst
at the BC Nurses Union, many
hospitals are running over-capacity; unfunded beds open up
and consequently many nurses
need to work overtime. "The initiatives that the government has
tried to do have been helpful, but
the problem is that, in my opinion, they haven't been extensive
enough," Weir said.
To address the vacant special
nursing positions and the overworking of nurses, some of the
funding for this three-year project
will be committed to creating 40
new spaces in the graduate nursing masters programs at UBC and
UVic—UBC will be given half of
the new spaces in their 230 student graduate nursing program.
Patricia Weir said that the masters degree will be of interest to
mid-career nurses who are keen
to become clinical educators.
These experienced nurses will
have the opportunity to become
mentors of new nursing grads
and in turn they will get credit toward their master's degrees and
reduced workloads.
The project will also continue
to create more nursing programs
at post-secondary institutions
across BC. The implementation
of the UBC nurse practitioner
program back in 2003 was such
an effort to model after.
"With the nursing shortage,
there is a need for more nurses to
be able to teach nurses," Dr Carol
Jillings, coordinator of the UBC
master's program, commented.
"The health authorities are really
interested in this."
She describes this pilot project
as a "win-win situation" because
it increases the province's capacity in nursing education, not just
in nursing schools, but within
health authorities themselves.
The pilot project is certainly
addressing the problem of nursing shortages, but there is frustration with other problems in
the workforce as well. Said Kim
Hubbard, a registered nurse of
more than 25 years. "Certain
areas are top-heavy, in terms of
Jill, a Registered Nurse at the
UBC General Hospital and a recent nursing graduate from Ryerson, said that there is frustration
with staffing. "We need to also
allocate [the] nurses to the right
areas" Jill also said better public
health education in preventative
measures might point to the root
of the problem. "I don't think it is
a band-aid solution." @
Sleeping with a Mosquito!
Giselle Portenier spoke yesterday to graduating Arts students on her
experiences covering third world abuses such as female
nfanticide in India and third world oppression of women
Moving the Earth
Introduction to Process
April 14th, 8:15pm
Room 237, Michael Smith
Car Culture and Global
Environmental Politics. The
April 17th, 9:00am
Vancouver Institute and
Does your work control
Green College present Pro
you or do you control your
fessor Matthew Paterson
work? The goal of process
from the School of Political
streamlining is to meet (or
Science, University of Ot
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tawa. His research interests
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include global environmen
process. In this interactive
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what we mean by process
al political economy, global
and the key concepts of
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process streamlining the
international relations
arcane and mysterious
theory and the politics of
vocabulary of "process
the automobile.This is a
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welcome to attend.
"A Partnership of
Peoples" Exhibit
Fundamentals of
Museum of Anthropology
Ongoing, 12pm-6pm
423A Henry Angus Building
In this exhibit, MOA dis
April 16th, 9:00 am
plays its plans for expan
Communication is at the
sion and renovation, a scale
core of all human relation
model, and samples of
ships. This half-day work
architectural details, finish
shop is of special interest
ings, and furnishings. We
to staff who would like to
also open a window onto
review the way they com
our Digitization Studio. We
municate as part of their
are currently digitising the
day-to-day job.
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Thursday, 12 April, 2007
Editorial Board
coordinating@ubyssey. bc.ca
NEWS EDITOR Brandon Adams &
Colleen Tang
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Momoko Price
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are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect
the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
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the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions,
photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
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publication. Letters received after this point will be published in the
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AD DESIGN Michael Bround
"Whaaat?" said Eric Szeto to Boris Korby, as he Adrian Presnilla-ed
Momoko Price over the fence. Oker Chen instructed Brandon Adams
on a bicycle in the background, while Jesse Ferreras attacked Kellan
Higgins juggernaut-style with David Karp. Colleen Tang danced it up
with Champagne Choquer,then force-feed David Tchir a Lucas Johnson
sandwich. Charlotte Nobles watched as Matthew Jewkes presented a
Star Wars roleplay, with Gemini Chan and Humaira Hamid. Samantha
Jung, bored with all of the action, read the dictionary with Levi Barnett.
After the play, Andrew MacRae looked through primary documents
to find Paul Bucci, who was swimming frantically to get away from
Nicholas Cheung. Justin McElroy, Alison Bailey, and Caroline Chuang
laughed at them all, who were oblivious to the fact that Christine
McLaren and Myles Estey were kidnapping Kaan Eraslan from the
shrine of David Harakal. Candice Vallantin called Isabel Ferreras to
help, but it was all in vain,for Paul Evans was in on the whole facade.
Canadian    Canada Post Sales Agreement
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Press THE UBYSSEY Thursday, 12 April, 2007
Eccentric exiled from campus
'Hes a weirdo but hes a wonderful weirdo with a tremendous intellectual sense]says professor
by Eric Szeto
Clayton Burns says he's "devastated and crushed" that UBC has
banned him from campus.
On April 3, while Burns was
at the UBC Bookstore, UBC Campus Security asked him to leave.
He was then escorted by Campus
Security while he entered the office of the Ubyssey. While Ubyssey News Editor Brandon Adams
was conducting an interview with
Burns, Campus Security issued a
notice that prohibited him from
entering campus premises and
was ushered peacefully out of the
Ubyssey office and off campus.
Campus Security said that after
numerous complaints were filed
about Burns' conduct at UBC, they
had no other choice but to take action against Burns.
"It got to the point where they
felt that it be in the interest of
safety for themselves...faculty,
staff, students, that Mr Burns who
is not a worker here, not a member of staff or a student, be asked
to leave the campus," said Doug
Singleton, associate director of
UBC Campus Security.
Singleton admitted that Burns,
who had approximately ten to
15 complaints from various
members of the University that
spanned over five years, posed no
immediate danger to the University, however.
"[Burns has] been asked if he
could temper the way he presents his arguments," he said. "At
times he does so. However, [with]
Mr Burns, after a hiatus and after
period of time, there's a fall back
of previous behavior patterns.
"And as he falls back into it...it
An English tutor and outspoken
critic of UBC, Burns feels the University is acting unjustly against
"For the university to have
made a determination that I had
abused people without asking me
any questions or attempting to
find out about the motivations of
the ones making the 'complaints',
[they] could not have been more
"They cannot prove that I acted
with malice towards anyone at
UBC," he said.
"I lead a very active intellectual
life. I have friends in the University, and it's barbaric," he said. "I
understand books, and I like to
work in the libraries [at UBC]...It's
Stephen Wexler, a professor at
the UBC Faculty of Law who has
known Burns for almost eight
years, said that he couldn't think
of a man who is less of a problem than Burns on a university
"He's a weirdo but he's a wonderful weirdo with a tremendous
intellectual sense.
"I think it's ridiculous that they
would ban him from the campus,"
BANISHED: Clayton Burns recieves a summons banning him from UBC property, oker chen photo
said Wexler. "He is more of a
scholar than I am. He's the most
scholarly man I know."
UBC Bookstore officials said
Burns would engage in discussions with staff but when they
didn't want to converse with him
anymore, he would continue
to argue. His presence created
a palpable tension that finally
reached a boiling point when
a   shouting   match  occurred   on
March 29 at the bookstore.
"It made the staff very uncomfortable," said Debbie Harvey, UBC
Bookstore director.
"My staff...they felt that they
were being personally harassed
by him," said Harvey.
"I can't condone any of my staff
working at a workplace where
they feel unsafe, and that was
the reason why I expressed some
concern    to    campus    security,"
said Harvey.
After the incident, UBC Bookstore contacted Campus Security
and requested that action be taken
against him next time he entered
store grounds.
Burns said he has contacted
the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and is currently deciding
whether or not to file a complaint
against the University with the BC
Human Rights Tribunal. @
Why UBC doesn't quite make the grade
by Alison Bailey
Choosing a university is a big decision. In the four years or longer you
are there, lifelong friends can be
made, your career may be decided,
and in the end, hopefully you think
it was worth it.
To help decide where their
post-secondary years will be spent,
many Canadian students use both
the Maclean's University Rankings
issue that is published each fall as
well as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) distributed by North American universities
each spring.
Maclean's publishes information gathered from the administrations of Canadian institutions,
while NSSE displays survey responses from students themselves
on their level of satisfaction with
their education. Maclean's has also
begun polling students and releasing this information in a separate
issue published in the spring. The
2007 issue is the second of its kind,
and includes not only Maclean's results, but NSSE results as well.
Although UBC was included in
both the fall 2006 Maclean's University Rankings and the spring
2007 NSSE Survey, it did not earn
high scores on either. While UBC
placed fourth out of fifteen Canadian universitites in the Maclean's
2006 overall rankings, there are
areas in which UBC is placed near
the bottom. Some of these are student retention in which UBC placed
tenth, proportion who graduate
(eleventh), class sizes for third and
fourth year level (fourteenth), and
the percentage of the university's
budget that is used for student services (thirteenth).
"Relative to Canadian peer universities, UBC Vancouver scores
slightly below average," reports
www.pair.ubc.ca, the website of
the on-campus organization that
distributes NSSE. In Maclean's
most recent publication of NSSE
results, they show that out of 18
Canadian universities, UBC scored
fourteenth when first year students
were asked how they would evaluate their entire educational experience at their institution. For the
same question, seniors placed UBC
at number eleven, with 20 per cent
of seniors polled saying their education at UBC has been excellent,
and 53 per cent answering that it
was good.
Why does UBC seem to score so
low? According to Anna Kindler,
UBC vice-provost and associate VP
of academic affairs, there are a variety of factors that can explain UBC's
results. However, she stated at the
beginning of our interview, "I just
would like to be absolutely sure that
you don't take some of these explanations as excuses or the university
dismissing very valid and very le
gitimate signals that we are getting
in terms of the need to improve."
She explained there are many
universities included in the same
categories as UBC that are in fact
very different from UBC in terms
of size and the extent that each institution is involved in research.
She uses the University of Toronto,
McGill, and the University of Alberta as examples of institutions that
can be placed with UBC as they are
large universities with many of the
same challenges that UBC faces as a
result of its size.
However, she also contrasted
the four institutions, stating, "there
is further difference within this
group that's quite significant, and
that's the difference related to the
composition of the student body.
Only out of these four schools, Toronto and UBC has this very high
level of diversity—ethnic diversity
and this is the profile of our students—it's quite different than the
profile of students, let's say at U of
A, or at McGill for that matter.
"[McGill] attracts more international students but has less of the
kind of demographic variation I am
talking about...when I talk about
this diverse, multicultural, multiethnic population...because there's
quite strong data suggesting that
students from visible minorities
and especially students here from
very diverse backgrounds, tend to
score   lower   on   engagement...so
campuses that have a greater degree of this differentiation tend to
generally score [poorly]."
Kindler also raised concerns
about a lack of engagement among
the large number of students who
commute to and from UBC each
day, as well as the significant funding difference per student in the US
and in Canada.
Brendon Goodmurphy, AMS VP
of academic and university affairs,
as well as a fourth year student at
UBC, agreed with these points.
"I think the size of the institution
is one important factor. It's a big
school. And I think you can see in
the results that the bigger schools
are the ones that tend to be lower
on the list. I think there are ways
to mitigate that, and it's by working through faculties. For example,
breaking the campus into sort of
smaller groups where you can find
a lot of support."
While Goodmurphy agrees that
this is a problem and that having
a large commuting population can
keep those students from being
"engaged in the whole campus
community," he said, "I don't think
that those have to be aspects that
are fundamentally debilitating us
from engaging students and helping them feel that they have a place
here, and are supported here.
"I think there are some basic
questions—some bigger basic questions that can be addressed like
classroom size and teacher quality
and sure, those would cost more
money I think to make a significant difference on, but those need
to be addressed, and we can't shy
away from those and I still get a lot
of hesitation from the university
about accepting whether or not that
those types of indicators really do
affect the quality of education, and
I think that's problematic."
Goodmurphy added, "I think really what it comes down to is the
university asking tougher questions of itself and demanding a
little bit more, actually a lot more
from itself about how to address
these results."
Another concern that Kindler
raised is that of results being reliable. She stated that Maclean's data
is misleading, and "we have been
among the universities that have
pulled out of the Maclean's rankings, precisely for the reasons of
reporting data that is not collected
and not presented in consistent
and reliable ways."
Tony Keller, Maclean's managing editor for special projects, sees
nothing "inherently wrong" with
the way Maclean's collects its data.
So, is it a matter of a lack of action
on UBC's part? Or is the data presented simply flawed? Although
there appears to be no clear answer, there seems to be a general
consensus: that education at UBC
has a little brushing up to do. @ News
Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
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Campus  &  Community  Planning
Development Permit Applications
Pacific Spirit
Regional Park
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(J)   DP 07003: Wesbrook Village
UBC Properties Trust proposes to
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residential (rental) above, and an
adjacent building with restaurant on
the main floor, office on the second
floor and a third floor of institutional
use, all on Lot 48 of Wesbrook Place
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(2)   DP 07010: South Campus
UNOS Parks
UBC Properties Trust proposes to
install 3 of the 5 UNOS Parks -
Khorana, Nobel, and Smith, based on
UNA input in a recent neighbourhood
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directions visit www.maps.ubc.ca
Questions: Lisa Colby, Manager Development Services, C & CP e-mail: lisa.colby@ubc.ca
JL    This event is wheelchair accessible. For more information about assistance for persons with
^"   disabilities, e-mail rachel.wiersma@ubc.ca
Assault victim at Ryerson
claims hate crime
Experts unsure if attack qualifies
by Colleen Tang
Justin Trottier, president of the
Freethought Association of Canada, was assaulted March 28, at approximately Jam, and is claiming
that his assault should be considered a hate crime.
Trottier and
a colleague
were putting
up posters for
an upcoming
lecture by Victor Stenger,
author of God:
The Failed Hypothesis, when a
man whom they thought was interested in their event approached.
"When we looked back and we
saw him he was having quite the
chuckle about the nature of the
event," Trottier said. "He took a
kind of offense to it and threw
the poster on the ground and sort
of joked about it. Then he left the
According to Trottier, when the
man had left the building Trottier
yelled, "Why don't you at least recycle the poster?" which caused
the man and his friend outside to
start laughing and pointing at Trottier and his colleague.
Approximately 20 minutes
later the assailant and his friend
came back, said Trottier, and the
friend asked, "'What did you say
to my friend before?' and I told
him just what I said about recycling the poster and he's like, 'I
don't think that's what you said. I
think you said that you can believe
what you want and I can believe
what I want.'"
"I insisted that's not what I
said and he insisted that was what
I said and that went on for about
two minutes."
After calling the appropriate
authorities, Trottier said he was
asked to apologise to the man
within two minutes because they
were not going to wait for the authorities to come. "Basically I held
my ground and the guy who had
originally thrown the poster down
comes up...he slaps me a couple of
times in the face and says, 'Watch
your smart mouth,' so I grabbed
his hand and told him to stop it and
that's when he did the headbutting
with his hat and then he left and
that was basically it."
Regarding his injuries, Trottier
said, "It wasn't too serious, I've
been recovering pretty well." The
headbutting resulted in a cut on
Trottier's nose.
According to Trottier, the
Freethought Association of Canada
is treating this as a serious incident that should be regarded as a
hate crime, and are disgusted at
some of the media attention that
his incident has received from
other papers.
"They joked about our belief
system. They had 20 minutes to
premeditate the attack, [but] the
police were saying it was just an
escalation from a verbal dispute
but that wasn't it at all. There was
no verbal dispute. They waited 20
minutes  and then they decided
that they wanted to come," he said.
"They were very smart about it."
Regarding the Varsity's editorial, "Trottier makes a poor
martyr"—which disputed Trottier's claims and suggested that
his claims are a result of hurt
pride—Trottier said, "I couldn't
even make sense of their editorial." The feeling he got out of it
was that they acknowledged that
the incident might have stemmed
from him being an atheist "but so
what, that doesn't qualify as a hate
crime, you should get used to getting punched or something...that
was the feeling I got out of that."
Harry Abrams of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and
Research Society said that this
incident does not qualify as a hate
"A hate crime happens when
someone is on the receiving end
of abuse for the things about themselves that they cannot change,"
he said. "[Trottier] really should
expect that some lumps should
come his way sooner or later over
not just taking this position but for
promoting that point of view rightly or wrongly.
"I don't think [atheism] is
caught by the Canadian Constitution in terms of being a
protected minority."
He added that perhaps if Trottier had apologised, the assault
could potentially have been avoided. "He possibly had a way out of
this thing and chose to be confrontational rather than apologetic or
something consolatory."
Richard Warman, Ottawa la-
wayer to Canadian Human Rights
Commission on internet hate cases, has an alternate explanation for
this incident.
"The individuals have got it
morally right and the respective
police departments have got it
legally right," he said. "Heretics
have been burned at the stake for
centuries but this is the first sort
of modern-day Canadian case that
I can recall at any [level] that deals
with the question of a person being
physically attacked on the basis of
their atheism."
Warman believes that police
did everything they could, however, this points out a missing component in the law.
"I don't know if there is anything the police can do other than
say this is an assault and they will
investigate it," he said. "Personally
I think it's fascinating because it
spells out the problems that are
in the laws. That you have a group
that in effect is simply the flip side
of a religious belief and that it's
unprotected whereas if they had
been any of a hundred religious
belief—had been followers of a
hundred religious beliefs that were
attacked—they would be protected.
It points out a hole that exists in
the law."
"What would have to happen is
that the criminal code would have
to be amended it in the same way
itwas to extend [protection] to gays
and lesbians."
Neither Ryerson security nor
the Ryerson Student Union contacted the Ubyssey by press time. @ ^K   *^
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Grab your mobile phone, play Brain Up, get smarter.
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Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
fam U0YSSE&
coorawTwe editor/
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Wild Weather is Changing Your World
Hear Dr. Reese Halter talk about how we
affect weather during his national book tour for
Wild Weather:
The Truth Behind Global Warming
Tuesday,ApriM7th  I   2:00- 3:00p.m. I   SUB Council Chambers-#206
Das Ubyssey wiinscht Ihnen gutes Gliickauf Ihren Priifungen!
0 Ubyssey deseja-lhe a sorte boa em seus exams!
Ubyssey wenst u goed gelukop uwexamens!
// Ubyssey vi augura la buona fortuna sui vostri esami!
the Ubyssey wishes you good luck on your exams!
(pardon our French)
subTerrain Magazine's Summer Issue will be devoted
entirely to student writing from across the country.
Why Not Send Us Some Of Yours?
IS «JJ » ^
f But where \
I      Willi 90 tO      1;
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#45 (Money) In Your Campus Bookstore Now! Only $4!
deadline for submissions: june 1st 2007
subTerrain Magazine
po box 3008, main post office, vancouver bc
v6a 3*5   www.subterrain.ca THE UBYSSEY Thursday, 12 April, 2007
Thunderbirds year in review
by Justin McElroy
What do you remember about first
grade? Probably very little: the
teacher, some of the kids in the
class, having to write in a journal
every once in a while...but specific
memories? It's likely you have just
two or three; moments that best
encapsulate what went on in those
formative years, back when Pogs
were all the rage.
This is a longwinded way of alluding to the fact that when we try
and remember the exploits of our
Thunderbird athletes in the future,
it is perhaps inevitable that our
memory will be foggy. Ten, fifteen
years from now, when we look back
at the year that was in UBC Athletics (I know very few people will
actually do this, but let's
conveniently ij
nore that fact for
the sake of this
column), there
will only be a few
choice memories
to look back on.
Like these ones...
2nd:  On a big,
campus like this
one, rare is the
forms UBC into
a small city in Kansas when the circus
comes to down. But
when    the    Arizona
Wildcats tangled with
our    Thunderbirds    at
War Memorial as a new
school year began, it was
an event, a small look at the
world of NCAA hoops that
the big city boys down south  1,
play. And with 2,000 curious
fans in attendance that evening,   '
UBC fought valiantly, but ended
up on the losing side of the 73-59
score. But one thing that struck me
that evening was the play of fresh
man point guard Alex Murphy.
Six months previous, he was a big
fish in the small pond of BC Bas
ketball. On that evening, he was
matching up against future NBA
players play after play—and looking pretty good doing it too.
October  18th: Enough has
already been said about Chris
Ciezki's     328-yard,     5-touch-
down massacre  of SFU, but ,
I'll say one more thing about
it: watching that game, it was
patently obvious that Ciezki
was a man among boys in,
playing at a higher level than
anyone on either side of the
ball was capable of playing.
It's the dream of any Canadian running back to make
it to the CFL, and in the
coming months, Ciezki will try and
make that dream a reality with the
BC     Li-
couverites will be able to cheer on
Ciezki for many years to come.
October 28th: The home
endings for both basketball teams
ended in disappointment this year,
the way they kicked off their seasons could not have been better.
opener for both UBC basketball teams went picture perfect
on this evening in late October. Though the men were
in probably the most exciting game of their season the
night before   against  Trinity Western (whom they beat
1 3 0 -    . 128 in triple OT)
and comfortably
t took care of SFU
on this day, the
main     event
happened in
the     women's game,
the lady
* T-Birds
It     couldn't
happen   to   a  better
individual, and hopefully Van-
tooth   and   nail
with   archrivals    Simon
Fraser   for   four   quarters.   With
time winding down, the 'Birds fed
the ball to Miss Dependable, Kelsey
Blair, for the game winning basket
with just seconds left. While the
February 24th: Yes, I am
aware that the level of competition in CIS swimming is—pardon
the pun—shallow. And yes, I am
aware that swimming isn't exactly
a marquee sport in any country
not named Australia. However,
anytime UBC wins its TENTH
give credit where credit is due. The
swimmers on this team are nothing short of spectacular, and while
they certainly don't get the accolades they deserve for the program
they have built at UBC, their efforts
in the pool are the envy of all other
schools in Canada.
February 18th: If there is one
moment I will take away from the
season that was in UBC Athletics,
it occured on this day, at four in
the afternoon, at War
rial Gym.
There, on
UBC's seventh match
point, Cris-
toph Eichbaum rose
up, blocked
i the spike of
the Manitoba
Bisons star
-, player, and
■rJpSi sent the Thun-
Sm derbirds to their
first national
in 17 long years.
Coach Richard
Schick screamed in jubilation and hugged assistant
Cal Wolford. The Thunderbird players immediately
V mobbed Eichbaum, while
the hundreds of fans in at-
ft tendance screamed in joy
at the top of their lungs
while pandemonium
gripped the gym—and
the Bison players turned to
corpses. Their season over, their
dreams dashed, they could only sit
in their seats and watch stone-faced
as UBC saw their dreams come to
fruition at their expense.
As the legendary Jim McKay
often said, sport is about "the
thrill of victory, and the agony of
defeat." It's why we watch sports,
it's why we play sports, and it's
why we love sports a little bit too
much sometimes. But when those
two solitudes come crashing into
each other, as they did when UBC
clinched its spot in the CIS tournament, it creates an indelible image,
a moment that will not soon be forgotten to anyone who witnessed it
that evening. @
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Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
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Roark: fresh talent on the scene
Break of Day
Love Minus Zero Records
by Lucas Johnson
There's a new talent on the mu
sic scene, and for indie/pop fans,
he's sure to be a long-lasting fa
vourite. Roark brings a compel
ling combination
of strong vocals,
memorable melodies, and intricate
(from acoustic and
electric guitars to
piano, cellos, and
string sections)
to his first album,
Break of Day.
Each of the
songs has a similar feel, but most
are different
enough to be individually compelling, yet still effective if taken as
a whole. Roark's
greatest strength
is his combination of a melody and rhythm that
makes every song catchy, and his
obvious musical talent brings to
those songs powerful instrumentation that suits the specific style of
the song, along with strong vocal
The album opens powerfully
with the track "Never Felt So
Lucky," a song that in many ways
exemplifies the rest of the album
to come. It's forceful, evocative,
full of strong vocals; the kind of
song that you can easily sing along
to, assuming you can keep up with
his formidable range.
"Today (Perfect)" takes the album in a slightly different direc
tion. While the previous tracks
primarily featured guitars, a softly
beautiful piano opens this song,
which becomes a truly powerful
and evocative piece that grows to a
potent climax by the end, bringing
in a full backing string section. It's
followed by "Letters," which opens
with a unique staccato piano progression, progressing in a bouncy,
and catchy style reminiscent of
Queen. "Broken Smile" opens softly with the intimate addition of a
solo cello, and builds near the end.
The next few tracks slipped my
ears a little, as there is no doubt
that the styles are similar to many
of the songs that came before, so
they offered little that
was new. However,
there is enough unique
and catchy in each to
make them all worth a
"Take It Slow" is another passionate acoustic/cello/string song
that makes a good wrap-
up track for the entire
album. My only issue is
that it doesn't end on a
tonic, instead leaving
the listener hanging a
little and waiting
for the next song that
doesn't come.
Break of Day is a
plethora of passionate songs combining
melody and harmony
using varied instrumentation and
vocal techniques to create interesting and unique sounds in each
piece. For those who enjoy the pop
feel and passionate music, Roark
is sure to please, and is certain to
grow in the music scene.®
Klimt biopic doesn't show his best
At the Vancouver International Film
March 31
By Caroline Chuang
International director Raoul Ruiz's
biopic of Gustav Klimt stars John
Malkovich as the beleaguered
Viennese artist. Malkovich however, seems to be acting the role
he played at the height of his
pretentiousness—himself, in Being John Malkovich. And he is far
more convincing at that role than
he is as the famed artist. That's
the problem with movies based on
the ostentatious lives of historical
figures—they either enliven their
characters with overstimulation
coupled with an intriguing plot, or
they tank from drawn out, pretentious indulgence.
Klimt, as a film, is unfortunately
the latter. We might be more interested in the hallucinations of the
talented artist if the scenes were
cut more effectively. Instead, we
get droughts of Malkovich on his
hospital bed intercut with scenes
of interactions that are figments
of his hallucinations, without
proper cutting to emphasise that
these are indeed manifestations
of his warped, creative genius.
One might say this is exactly the
point, but if you watch the film,
you'll know from the first scene
that he is suffering some kind of
mentally disordered flashback on
his deathbed.
Yet, he seems not to suffer
much torment over his apparitions. We  see his hallucinations
unfold more like moments of
daydreaming—this really could be
John Malkovich's acting—because
he is so deadpan in his delivery.
That, and they fuse seamlessly with
scenes that take place in reality.
This functions effectively on some
levels as he portrays the snobby,
womanising artist with dry wit and
vitriolic arrogance, but it doesn't
convey the impact of his visions
on his real life. Perhaps they were
subsumed in his paintings, but in
scenes where he is shown at work
with numerous nude models, he is
possessed of his wits and selfishness all the same. The many scenes
of opulent and theatrical seduction
display lavishly the sexually liberated times in Paris and Vienna at
the fin-de-siecle.
The scenes that reflect his
mental disorders are likewise not
clearly defined. They resemble
scenes that take place in reality,
but they come across as staged effects. The problem is not that you
don't know whether the scene is
one of Klimt's hallucinations or an
actual flashback, but rather that
neither are convincing. For example, in some scenes we know that
he is hallucinating because the
people around him say that he just
talked to himself and ask if he's
all right—but Malkovich deadpans
what he just saw and in one scene
even holds physical evidence of
something he says was given to
him by an apparition.
There were some excellent
lines about art criticism during
one scene set in a high class Viennese cafe, where Klimt feels affronted by a seemingly crass comment from a gentleman who says
the frame of a painting is merely
decorous and therefore beautiful.
Klimt responds by smearing cake
over his face and says afterwards
that the cake has been rendered
useful and ugly. Talk about the
pretensiousness, snobbery, and
arrogance of the salon art world
mixed with high society as double
edged swords.
Saffron Burrows, who plays
the beguiling Lea de Castro, an
imaginary figment of Klimt's infatuation, is excellent in her role
as the cunning and cloying seductress of Klimt's hallucinatory
Egon Schiele, played by Nikolai
Kinski, makes frequent fleeting
appearances as Klimt's contemporary, who is much less caustic,
and shown with the mannerisms
of the artist pat down—separated
fingers and intense looks into
the twilight zone make him come
across as awkward but harmless.
Kinski's face and voice are far
too modern to be wholly convincing, but his appearances on film
are brief and inject a refreshing,
lighthearted presence into lengthy
periods of dramatic draught. The
women in the movie are cast well,
but Malkovich and Kinski's performances are too neurotic. It's like
Woody Allen playing Napoleon in
a dramatic biopic. The actors have
the tenacity and intellect to play
the parts, but they just aren't naturally suited for them.
Raoul Ruiz's tribute to the famous artist is a valiant one, and
anyone who admres his work
should come away with insights
into the cult of the artist hero and,
more likely, the artistic ego. @ THE UBYSSEY Thursday, 12 April, 2007
Slow Man veers off in wrong direction
byJM Coetzee
by Kaan Eraslan
JM Coetzee is a celebrated Nobel Prize-winning author who has written some amazing
stories such as Disgrace and Waiting For
The Barbarians. If Slow Man was the only
book of his that you have read, you would
seriously come to doubt his award-winning
status because, despite starting out as a
strong psychological plunge into the mind
of a depressed amputee, it turns out to be
a cluster of meaningless conversations and
Slow Man begins with a horrifying accident as the aging protagonist, Paul Ray-
ment, is hit by a truck while riding his
bicycle through the streets of Adelaide, Australia. After undergoing life-saving surgery,
his right leg is taken from him, amputated
above the knee. Paul's life is changed forever. Following this terrible ordeal, Coetzee
gives us several doses of negativity and
darkness as Paul falls into a downward spiral of depression and resentment towards
those around him. This portion of the book
functions effectively to put readers inside
Rayment's mind, feeling the surge into
darkness and despair. Coetzee really gives
the readers a subliminal preview of what it
must be like to lose a limb.
The story then betrays expectations and
goes off track, telling a story about a man
dealing with his stump of a leg, which he
likes to call "le jambon." We are introduced
to Marijana Jokic, a middle aged nurse who
is hired to look after him. Marijana is an
Eastern European woman from Croatia,
and Paul tries to re- late to her with
his own European
heritage.      Before
long, Paul falls in
love with her and
tries     everything
he can to become
involved with her
life   and   family.
This includes offering to pay for
her son's private
college fees and
bailing her little
girl out of trouble    after    she
steals    from   a
jewellery store.
This    turn    in
the   story   still
doesn't     work
too   badly;   in
fact, it's mildly
The        disap-
comes     with
Coetzee's   decision to shift
focus     away
on what is really interesting,     which
is        Paul's
mental  and
physical deterioration.
Coetzee then introduces us to a character from his book Elizabeth Costello.
The character is (drum roll) Elizabeth
Costello, a popular, aging Australian nov
elist, who just appears out of thin air and
knocks on Paul's door. This is where every
thing goes wrong
and where most readers will stop reading.
For some reason Costello wants to stay with
Paul, guide him through his problems and
analyze him. So she goes about meddling
in every aspect of his life and stays at his
house, claiming that Paul came to her.
It is assumed, but never explained, that
Costello does all of this because she wants
to use Paul as a character in a book she is
writing. How does she know who Paul is?
How does she know about his inappropriate affections for Marijana? How does she
know everything about the Jokic family?
How does she know everything about everyone? Why does she sleep under bushes
in a parking lot? These are questions that
will go through readers' minds if they manage to get to this part in the story. The only
problem is that there is no answer to any
of these questions; and no, Paul isn't just
making her up in his mind. She is a real
character, and an annoying one at that.
After Elizabeth Costello enters the scene,
the rest of the book is filled with long conversations and arguments between Paul
and Costello. They argue like an old married couple and these arguments serve no
purpose other than frustrating the readers
with their length and bickering annoyance.
Behind all of this, there is supposed to be a
message of passing things on to the future,
but nobody will care, and there you have
the main problem of Slow Man. It's hard to
care about anybody involved in the story.
Slow Man, at best, is a mess. Everything becomes murky after a strong opening. Although the intro is strong and very
intriguing, an entire book cannot run
on the momentum of the introduction
alone. If readers want to enjoy the work
of a Nobel Prize winning author, read
Disgrace or Waiting For the Barbarians.
They are much more reflective of what J. M
Coetzee can do. Slow Man is a tale that is at
its best when avoided. @
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Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
by Gemini Cheng
In adulthood we often look at children, with their soulful eyes beaming
with untouched purity and an insatiable zest for life, and envy the innocence we all think we once had. We look at children and see the beauty
of afresh beginning the ease of living without worries or regrets, and the
freedom that runs wild within their souls. But how would it be, if instead
of purity in their eyes we saw hate, or instead of innocence we saw corruption? How would it be if instead of envying children, we feared them?
For most, this is insanity. For Ishmael Beah, it was reality.
—Christine McLaren
From best-selling author Douglas Coupland
A new sort of comedy.
IUMYMIM"JHIMMD^IIlIM J!U % m — •»      «-- ei
■' ■ -1 ■ i: ■■• : >
■   ■.': ..        OMB
Sometimes it is easy to forget
how lucky we are. Ask average
Canadians what they remember
from when they were twelve years
old, and you will find a range of
stories. They can probably conjure up skinned knees on cement
sidewalks, bike-riding to a friend's
house after school, or just trying
to pass their next math test. Ask
author Ishmael Beah what he remembers of being twelve years
old, and you will hear a story of unimaginable pain and suffering.
Beah, now twenty-six and living
in New York, related memories
from his recently published autobiography, A Long Way Gone, during
a UBC spopnsored talk on March
29, where he discussed his life as a
child soldier in Sierra Leone.
The mood began in lightheart-
ed fashion as Beah admitted to his
obsession with rap music and the
rhythm of the English language.
When he was eight years old, he
discovered American hip-hop and
became fascinated by how someone could speak English so quickly
and rhythmically. Soon, Beah and
his friends began putting on local shows, copying the words, and
eventually making up their own
lyrics. His interest was his salvation—rap music would come to
save his life twice.
When Beah was twelve, he and
six other boys left their town to go
participate in a talent show in a
nearby village.
The people of his village cared
deeply for one another and could
not believe that their culture could
go through such dramatic change.
Beah, his brother, and their friends
were literally "on the run." They ran
from village to village with their
blistered and bleeding feet, seeking shelter but leaving before war
could find them again, or leaving
because the village believed they
were the enemy arriving early in
disguise. They did this for a year.
Hoping to reunite with their
families, Beah and his friends returned to their village, one member short. When asked what he
remembers of that time, he recalls
mainly gunshots and smoke. He
learned that his family had been
tied up and burned inside their
home. Bodies littered the streets.
It was at this time that Beah
was conscripted into the army,
and his sombre audience truly felt
the weight of his story. It was "kill
or be killed" from then on; the children had no choice but to obey.
"After you kill somebody," Beah
said, "it does something to you as a
human being."
To remedy the feelings that
arise from cold-blooded killing,
they were given drugs to numb the
pain. The drugs also served to put
children in the mindset that they
could do it again and again. It was
a viscious cycle.
Although Beah's audience knew
they were there for an intimate discussion, perhaps not everyone realised how personally they would
be affected by his memories. There
were audible gasps when Beah related some of his darkest war stories, like exhibition killings. Young
boys learned how to kill someone
using just a bayonet; Beah admits
that he became "a master of this
particular art."
After years of being forced to
perform unthinkable acts, Beah
was given a chance to escape the
brutality when he was rescued by
the efforts of UNICEF and other
NGOs. The mood was not entirely
lifted when he told the story of
his rescue. Child soldiers are not
easily saved, and Beah's rehabilitation was difficult. Becoming a
child soldier is easy, he said. When
you destroy everything a child
knows, there isn't much else they
can do when you force an AK-47
rifle into their hands. Reclaiming
their humanity—that's the hard
part, he said.
Hearing the words "It wasn't
your fault" wasn't what saved him
in the end; "Daily compassion rekindled our humanity."
Why has Beah done this? Why
did he write his autobiography,
and why is he traveling and telling
others his darkest memories? It
was not only as a form of therapy,
he said, but "to put a human face
to this experience...The children
whose lives have been caught
up by this war—they can regain
Each time he thought about
stepping back from his manuscript, he thought about all the
children at that moment who were
fighting around the world.
"These children can be helped,"
he told the audience fiercely. "Don't
let anyone tell you any other way."
The questions and answers that
members of the audience directed
to Beah gave him a forum to speak
more politically. Awareness and
fundraising are good short term
goals for civil wars around the
world, he believes, but to put a
stop to it completely, that must
begin with the people. He wishes
to see those who want to help out
of compassion, not as a moral
obligation. As for Sierra Leone,
he encouraged the entire audience to visit his beautiful home
"There are certain feelings I get
there that I will not get anywhere
else," he said, adding that we
must remember the true beauty of
"Expose yourself to the world,"
Beah advised. "It starts with
Learn about what is happening
around our planet, put your energy
into the right causes—because according to Beah, all lives count.® THE UBYSSEY Thursday, 12 April, 2007
420 should be celebrated
420 is a symbol that connects
marijuana smokers from all over
the world to the cannabis culture.
You may have seen it, read about
it or heard it referred to by someone you know. Most commonly, it
marks a time of day (4:20) or a date
(4/20). On the date, April 20, hundreds of thousands of Canadians
will join millions of people around
the world to gather, in private and
in public, to celebrate the annual
cannabis holiday.
Of course, it is not an official
holiday yet.
There are probably as many explanations as to why April 20 has
become so significant to the cannabis culture as there are people who
observe the day. But, one thing
seems to be common among them
all: a desire for freedom. From the
brashest activist to the closet toker,
every marijuana user is acutely
aware that they do not have it and
that their involvement with marijuana might result in the loss of
Yet, we continue to do it. And,
on April 20, many will gather in
public. These gatherings occur in
parks and public areas across the
country. In many respects, they are
expressions of defiance, a defiance
of the arbitrary laws that prohibit a
plant that so many Canadians use
for medical, spiritual and recreational purposes.
On April 20th, I will take my
place among the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who, like me,
believe in freedom and the right of
an individual to control their own
bodies and minds. I will venture
to the customary local gathering
place—there is one in every city
and town across this country—and
celebrate the cannabis culture. I
will smoke a joint with friends and
pray that this is the year we gain
our freedom.
Hope to see you there.
— Moe Brondum lives in North
Battleford, Saskatchewan
Bill Gates not above society
Bill Gates is one of the richest men
in the world (worth $56 billion),
and he is pursuing governments aggressively to pay for AIDS vaccine
research. It shows just how generous Gates is with other people's
money. His miserly $28 million
donation to Canada compared to
the $ 111 million from our government doesn't give Saint Microsoft
permission to lord it over us. No
one elected him to anything, as he
slinks off with his tax-exempt foundation. There is a name for people
like him and it starts with a P.
There is little government interference in foundations, while others are taxed out of existence. His
charity is no gift—it's called high
finance. It's common knowledge
that foundations here have benefited sponsors more than they have
benefited the world. That whatever
foundations are (for good or ill) for
self or humanity and so they are
for the most part done with publicly conferred money.
Mr Gates didn't leave much of
an impression. He's not compulsively gripping. On television, he
wore (pardon the word) a rumpled
suit which looked like it had been
rolled out of every bar in town.
When is he going to get a haircut?
He has the makings of a Howard
Hughes. Anyone check his nails?
(Cartoonists, here's your chance to
become famous.)
Quite a contrast: the richest
man in the world, and the world's
best political leader, Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper-
smiling, gracious, and beautifully
groomed as always.
— Mary Prinz lives in Vancouver
UBC is unsustainable
While the rest of the world talks of
nothing but global warming, UBC
remains blithely unconscious,
builds parkades, and provides
little or no alternatives to Single
Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) use on
campus and its "University Town."
Present transit shuttle services
are entirely insufficient to provide professionals with a viable
reason for abandoning their car.
Every event at Thunderbird, Chan,
Botanical Gardens, MoA, Belkin,
Fred Wood etc. continue to add to
the pollution problem. While UBC
touts its "sustainability" it continues to behave like a dinosaur when
it comes to its own ecological footprint, and fails to curb the constant
proliferation of cars. Every visitor,
student, and worker on campus
should be included in a survey to
determine what it would take to
leave their SOVs at home. Move
forward, UBC.
—Lenore Herb was president of
the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, 1990-95
Rock looks like alien
Daniel Labossiere found an 'alien' type rock in Point Roberts. He
was offered $14,000 for the rock, but refused. He chose instead
to come to the Ubyssey office to get the word out about selling it
on Ebay. We didn't capitulate, and he decided to go elsewhere to
get his 'rock' sold. Good luck, sir.
Rick Mercer
Fri 04.05.07
Chan Centre
Thu 31.05.07
Chan Centre
Visit www.ams.ubc.ca/events
for more event information.
AMS Satisfaction Survey
Win an MP3 Player
Take a little study break to let AMS know how we've
met your needs this year, and you'll be automatically
entered for a chance to win an MP3 Player.
Visit www.ams.ubc.ca to complete the survey and win!
Survey results will be posted on the site this summer.
Expect to see great new things from your
AMS next year based on your feedback.
www. a ms. u be. ca
The AMS is hiring!
AMS Safewalk Coordinator
Closing Date: April 14th, 2007
AMS Safewalk is student-run service essentially comprised of a foot
patrol initiative that will accompany anyone between points on
campus. It employs well over 100 students and also works to
encourage safety all across campus through various promotion and
outreach booths. Employees are trained in the safety policies of this
non-intervention service as well as in basic protocols such as radios,
client interaction and knowledge of available safety resources.
AMS Shinerama Co-chair/Coordinator
Closing Date: April 14th, 2007
Shinerama is the annual AMS student fundraiser for the Canadian
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This event takes place during the first
week of September. Your main responsibility will be to get students
involved in the cause and raise money for the Canadian Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation through promotional events and fundraisers.
AMS Insider Editor & Graphic Designer
Closing Date: April 23rd, 2007
The AMS is looking for a dynamic Editor and Graphic designer to
cooperatively produce the 2007 / 08 AMS Insider; - a student day-
timer and information guide with a distribution of more that 24,000.
We're looking for creative, innovative and hardworking enthusiasts
who can work well as part of a dynamic team and thrives under
Brought to you by your student soci 14
Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Year end ol' master masthead
Thanks to: Brandon Adams, Chris Adamson,
Chantaie Allick, Josephine Anderson, Josh
Anderson, Erica Baird, Alison Bailey, Henrique Barbone, Erica Barrett, Levi Barnett,
Elena Banfield, Neale Barnholden,  Nadia
Bell, Nick Black, Emily Bodenburg, Michael
Bround, Paul Bucci, Sarah Buck, Mai Bui,
CodyBurdett, Carolynne Burkholder, Keegan
Bursaw,  Laurence  Butet-Roch,  Barry  Calif.*^-^aga     \       1 k   - /*> \    ' V       ■    1 houn, Aaron Carr, Elliott Chalmer, Gemini
1       \                           ^^^^b\^»         i\3^"^ \ \           * C \Jfc    ' Chan, Nicholas Cheung, Oker Chen, Cham-
^"""—7-~"'2l_^                             K<.    ^K     ^1    ' \^/    \"         |      \   1^                     pagne Choquer, Jennifer Chrumka, Elecia
Chrunik, Joanna Chiu , Andrew Chang, Jordan ChittJey, Caroline Chuang, Peter Clark,
Patty Comeau, Ryan Corbett, Benjamin
Dais ton, Alisha Delgado-Pelton, Alia Dharssi,
Sunny Dhillon, Dana Drori, Brenna Duperron, Kaan Erslan, Erin Empy, Myles Estey, Paul Evans , Jessica Roberts-Farina, Jesse Ferreras, Isabel
Ferreras, Andrew Fletcher, Katie Fitzpatrick, Sunny Freeman, Ron Friedman, Earson Gibson, Trevor Gilks, Drew Gilmour, Sheeane Goodyear,
Will Goldblum, Humaira Hamid, David Harakal, Hannah Hardy, Kyle Harland, Tamara Harvey, Matt Hayles, Marc Hazel, Kellan Higgins, Reuben Heredia, Evan Hesketh, Stephanie Ho, Peter Holmes, Katherine Howard, Bobby
Huang,ChelseaHuggett, DeenaHussein, TeresaIerakidis, Sarah-Nelle
Jackson, Matthew Jewkes, Luke Johnson, Samantha Jung. David
Karp, Kathrine Kerr, Cynthia Khoo, Andrew Kim,
Jessica JiYoung Kim, Karen Ko, Boris Korby,
Richard Lam, Carmin Laotauto, Anita Law,
Jane Lee, Johnson Lee, Kyla Lee, Claudia Li,
Victor Liang, Eugene Lin, Yalin Lin, Arysing
Liu, Mary Leighton, Alex Leslie, Derek Lecu-
min, Eva Lilliquist, Sierme Lam, Yalin Lin,
Hiu Lo, Andrea Loewen, Adrian Ma, Brent
Mattson, Kian Mintz-Woo, Jesse Marchand,
Raj Mathur, Brent Mattson, Michelle Mayne,
Becky Mceachern, Christine McLaren
Leigh-Anne Mathieson, Justin McElroy, Mary-
sia McGilvray, Joanna  Mclntyre,  Rebecca
McLanchie, Andrew MacRae, Bryce McRae, Rowan Melting, Kian Mintz-
Woo, Michelle Moore, Isabel Montoya, Emma Myers, Cheata Nao, Danielle
Nanton, Sarah Nelle-Jackson, Mara Kardas-Nelson, Jasmine Nielsen, Charlotte Nobles, Chris Noon, Alex O'Brien, Sara Omidvar, Will Keats-Osborne,
Joanna Octavia, Candice Okada, Hilary Onas, Jonathan Ore , Joanne Palin,
Trevor Phillips, Aleks Pichlak, Leah Poulton, Francis Plourde, Adrian Pres-
nUla, Momoko Price, George Prior. Alisha Randhawa, Kimberly Rawes,
Ian W Reeve, Stephen Rennick, Sarah Ripplinger, Stephanie Robinson,
Meghan Roberts, Jessica Roberts-Farina, Catherine Rolfsen, Lucy-Claire
Saunders, Eric Schneider, Jay Shaw, Sana Sharham, Tushna
Shroff, Lauren Slattery, Hilary Smith, Vanessa Smithe, Kathryn Stewart, Cleveland Stoidy, Amanda Stutt, Eric Szeto, Colleen Tang, Stephanie Taylor, Shalene Takara, David Tchir,
Teresa Terakdidis, Chelsea Theriault, Darcy Thompson, Hun-
gTe Tjia, Rachel Topping, Amanda Truscott, Megan Turnbull,
some remaining staffers
Candice Vallantin, Tessa Vanderhart, Francois Villeneuve, Michelle Vinci, Greg Ursic, Yinan Max Wang, Peter Warren, Kate Webb, Angela Wilson,
Jonny Paul Witt, Wilson Wong, Vanessa Woznow, Ivan Wu, Howard Yan, Alec Young, Bryan Zandberg, Cynthia Zhao, Ivan Zhao. Good riddance.
office streeters
Coordinating Editor Eroc Szeto ?
—Samantha Jung
Arts, 1
"..drives a white van.
You'd think with
interests like his he'd
try to be a little bit
stealth ier At least
he didn't go really
obvious and put
free candy'on the
-isabel Ferreras
Arts, 1
"...reminds me of
creamy folds."
-Andrew MacRae
Arts, 2
"...once offered me
candy; it didn't go
well—now my Gl gets
regular visits and my
hair is still all messed
-Colleen Tang
English, 4
"...is the sexiest sex(y)
offender in the world."
-Humaira Hamid
Arts, 2
"...the biggest
metrosexual I've ever
met in this office."
— Coordinated by Staff
The improbability of God
by Mark Klaver
Few decisions are as important as selecting one's
morality. One's daily actions and life direction are
structured by this choice. Moreover, one's morality
is inevitably influenced by one's decision concerning the existence of God. If one chooses to believe,
how one lives follows what one considers God's
morals to be.
There are far too many gods in human cultures to
accept one version of God without question. Yet, one
often finds the belief in God to be like the selection
of a hockey team: people cheer for the team from
their city without mindfulness of its merits; likewise,
many accept the version of God their society has dictated to them with inadequate consideration of the
numerous versions of God throughout the world.
Moreover, frequently people maintain a belief
in God for no other reason than that they always
have. This allows one's culture to determine one's
life path; to do so is to deny oneself the opportunity
that separates humans from animals: the choice to
change one's life to act in accordance with a morality that one has freely chosen.
Yet some people fear this choice. Some people
have had their identities so influenced by ideas
they were raised to believe that to question or live
without that idea is too destabilising and frightening
to consider. Moreover, they fear that, without their
idea that has guided them towards goodness, they
will fall into a realm of permissiveness and profligacy. What they must understand is that countless
people live without their belief; manifold societies
have distinct and widely varying beliefs; and goodness, love, strength, and enjoyment arise from innumerable beliefs, many of which have no relation
to God. If one can withstand the insecurities that accompany questioning one will be able to rise above
the dictations of socialisation and select from various sources of belief that morality which most enhances and improves one's own life.
However, many believers question the possibility
of goodness without God.
Many see the world's problems to be a result of
the suffering patient's unwillingness to consent to
the doctor's aid. Yet who is this doctor? What doctor
not only does not save those who have not yet consented to him—many of which are too young or have
not even heard of the doctor—but actively kills them
by injecting horrendous poisons into them? Furthermore, what doctor even kills those who have consented to his authority? It is hard to imagine such
a doctor being considered good; yet it seems God
maintains his status as not just good, but all-good
despite sending murderous pandemics that wipe
out non-believers and believers alike. God appears
to be actively involved in torturing our world. The
world's problems aren't simply the result of sinning
humans; we do not cause natural disasters.
Could such horrific events be punishment for human wrongdoing? If we concern ourselves with life
on earth, then such arbitration is absurd. The judge
that condemns innocents for the actions of perpetrators with equal sentences—death—is unjust and
excessively harsh. Those faithful in the traditional
God will say that God's goodness means justice will
be served in the afterlife. There are problems with
this view. God's goodness is what I am directly questioning. To presuppose what's in question is circular
and missing the point. Moreover, what makes afterlife justify a good God any more than a diabolical
one apparently rampant on earth? Maybe God is just
as nefarious there as he is here.
Furthermore, to rest one's belief of the pure
goodness of God on such an unknown idea as afterlife is to structure one's life based on an idea
that is unreassuringly vague. Such a belief requires
a great deal of faith. Yet, what makes having such
faith concerning the decision that arguably has the
greatest influence on one's life a good idea? In the
other blind areas of life we'd never place our future
on such faith. Who invests all their funds in a random company without justifying the investment
through an understanding of the probability of the
company's success? I'm not saying there is no God,
or that 100 per cent certainty is needed to believe.
I'm saying it's strange to structure one's entire life
on a belief like the all-good God that is only as, if
not less, probable that its many alternatives.
—Mark Klaver is a third-year Philosophy student THE UBYSSEY Thursday, 12 April, 2007
The Mistakes of America and Britain
Vintage Canada
by David Tchir
Gwynne Dyer has been a world-
class journalist since the 1970s,
and his writing shows nothing less.
Having seen him twice as a guest
lecturer at my high school, I know
that his perception of the world is
as clear as it is intelligent. I have
always had a great deal of respect
for his interesting and enlightening perspective, and I jumped
at this chance to read about his
thoughts on the world today. In
his latest book With Every Mistake,
Dyer paints a vivid picture of the
world that we live in, and all the
uneasy directions it is taking.
The book is entirely written by
one author, so at least it has a coherent structure. However, it is not
a complete piece of writing: it is a
collection of Dyer's articles from
the period between the eve of 9/11
to the present day. The only things
linking the articles together are
brief explanations written by Dyer,
which put the articles into context and reveal Dyer's retrospective thoughts on them. However,
save for the introduction and the
conclusion—both of considerable
length—the book is entirely made
up of articles from the past several
years of Dyer's career. As such, it
is difficult to analyse the book critically, as it is basically a summation
of Dyer's opinion on the events of
the past few years, not a straight
In the first part of the book, the
articles are arranged in such a way
that the views of Dyer on 9/11 and
the War on Terror are displayed
in semi-chronological order. Dyer
begins with several brief articles
that describe the political climate
of the international system before 2001. He then jumps into
the sudden terrorist attack on the
World Trade Centre before piecing
together the evidence and making surprising predictions about
what would eventually occur, save
for a few simply unforeseeable
The second part of the book is
perhaps even more interesting
than the first. The bulk of the articles are still politically inclined,
but they mostly deal with topics
outside of 9/11 and the War on Terror. For example, there are chapters dedicated to political developments in Africa, South East Asia,
and Latin America which may help
enlighten the readers about important historical events that have taken place in the past several years,
but have gone largely unnoticed
by the Western world because of
the media's general concentration
on events in the Middle East. All
along the way, Dyer's retrospective
and often sarcastic comments help
the reader make a comparison between his predictions and what is
now history.
The writing itself is as interesting as the content. Over the years,
Gwynne Dyer has developed much
skill as a convincing writer and
speaker. During his speeches, the
audience was both commanded
and enlightened by his determined
exposition of the truth. Though his
writing does not depart from this
prolific conviction, the view he
holds is distinctly left-wing.
With Every Mistake may not be
enjoyable in the least for patriotic
Americans or Brits: when it deals
with American and British affairs
(mostly in Iraq), it is usually from
an extremely derisive point of view.
There are even a few articles which
seem to have been thrown in for
the sole purpose of humiliating the
American or British governments.
However, the book is written
from Gwynne Dyer's perspective
alone, and his critique of those
who control world events is expected. This critical view may show
the world to be headed in a bleak
direction, but he doesn't end on
such a note. He suggests, if those
in power act according to common
sense and decency, the world won't
end up so badly. Finding universal
common sense and determining
decency is perhaps the greatest
challenge we face. @
One-woman show returns
at the Vancouver Playhouse
by Charlotte Nobles
After a very successful run at The Playhouse last
season, The Syringa Tree is back, with the award-
winning Vancouver actress Caroline Cave performing in this emotional and controversial one-
woman show. Originally written and played by
actress Pamela Gien, The Syringa Tree is partially
based on actual events from her life growing up in
South Africa. World-renowned director and acting
coach Larry Moss inspired the play's composition
and was involved with its production.
The Syringa Tree is set in South Africa in the
1960s, and focuses on a young Caucasian girl,
Elizabeth Grace, growing up on her wealthy family's estate. The events of the play are portrayed
through Elizabeth, who acts out the various characters with whom she comes into contact, including
her family, the house's servants, and a skeleton
found in her father's clinic. The play is Elizabeth's
attempt to explain her experiences in this racially-
tense time in South Africa's history.
Beginning when Elizabeth is six, her life is very
much focused on her relationship with her African nanny, Salamina Mashlope. Elizabeth forms
a close relationship with Salamina's illegal baby,
whom the Grace family is constantly trying to hide
from suspicious eyes.
All events are portrayed with the innocence
and simplicity of a young girl, unable to perceive
her own isolation in a country where she and her
family are no longer welcome. The play re-creates
critical events in her life, such as the birth and,
later, the disappearance of Salamina's daughter;
the violent murder of her generous and caring
grandfather; and Elizabeth's eventual retreat to
the United States.
The play deals with a time span of roughly
forty years, and questions the ability for change
in a country that has been divided through racial
discrimination. The deeply controversial issues
of racial discrimination are relieved by the innocent comments and reasoning made by a young
Elizabeth to explain away certain details of her surroundings that she cannot understand.
Pamela Gien's intricately-woven quilt of personalities and stories is performed flawlessly by
Caroline Cave, who tirelessly acts, sings, and dances throughout the nearly two hour performance.
Cave's ability to continuously change characters
(and subsequently change body language, mannerisms, accent, voice, and facial expressions) is unbelievable, and her performance received a very
well-deserved standing ovation. The use of nonspecific, timeless clothing and set design provided
the perfect space for Ms. Cave to transform herself into 24 different characters that the audience
could effortlessly envision as being completely
unique from each other.
In sum, The Syringa Tree is an outstanding and
captivating play, and Caroline Cave's phenomenal
performance keeps the audience involved, laughing, and thinking throughout the performance. @
Praying for locusts to
eat the screen
by Humaira Hamid
A movie incorporating the ten plagues
outlined in the Old Testament, The
Reaping stars Hilary Swank of Million
Dollar Baby fame. Directed by Stephen
Hopkins (The Ghost and the Darkness)
and co-starring David Morrissey, Idris
Elba, and AnnaSophia Robb, this movie
left me pretty unmoved on the whole.
The film's plot goes something like
this: a Christian missionary goes off
to do the world good, only to get royally screwed over and lose her faith
in God. She then becomes a credible
university professor, known for bursting people's God-fearing bubbles
using good old-fashioned rationale
backed by scientific facts. Always excellent, she's then faced with the case
of the little-known town of Haven,
which is inexplicably (or is it?) facing
paranormal incidences that parallel
the ten Biblical plagues. Starting off
with blood, the entire gauntlet is run
through sequentially, ending in the
climactic last plague, which ironically
is pretty anti-climactic.
The opening scenes did quite a
good job at setting the mood for the
rest of the film; it's one of those hold-
your-breath-for-something-good movies, peppered with those scenes we
all love to hate, and hate to love. You
know the ones I'm talking about: eerie
music and slow motion movements
leading up to the big scare. Or a big
let-down, depending on how rigid you
are. I'm disappointed to report that
the majority of them were predictable,
since the suspense part was dragged
on for too long. The movie did get a
good jump or two out of me, though,
and I'm grateful since that's all I look
forward to when going into a horror/
suspense flick. And I can't say I didn't
enjoy watching the group of guys in
front of me getting freaked out right
after they were scoffing at the action.
Memorable performances were Elba's portrayal of the faithful assistant
researcher; he's one of those characters that you can't help but like, heroic but not cocky, loyal but not clingy.
AnnaSophia Robb as the spooky little
Satan-child really stole the show, however; I think it's her eyes throughout
the movie—they're coolly creepy. Another little quirk for me was seeing
Swank as a blond, which somehow
didn't sit right. Call it superficial,
but it just seemed weird. Not that it
took anything away from her performance—any flaws in The Reaping can't
be blamed on the blonde.
I would probably recommend this
as a date movie for all you guys looking to play protector to impress the
ladies. Alternatively, this makes for a
good movie to rent on a night in with
a bunch of friends, when you're looking for a good scare light enough to
still make fun of. I'd say wait until this
is released on DVD, though; as much
as I willed this to be a great movie,
it left much to be desired in the end.
And quite possibly because I watch
too many movies, I totally called the
ending. @ 16
Thursday, 12 April, 2007   THE UBYSSEY
Persistence Of Vision film festival pushes and perseveres
by Candice Vallantin
Halfway through the evening,
Ralph's date is abducted by a van
full of masked men. This is not a
story about your geeky roommate,
but rather, a short film about how
"a knight in shining spandex" puts
a jumpsuit and a toy gun to use in
order to save the woman he loves.
Intrigued? Come watch Ralph's
ordeal unfold at the 18th annual
Persistence of Vision (POV) UBC
student film festival on April 27
and 28, at the Granville 7 Cinemas. You will also be able to catch
12 other student films ranging in
genres from comedies with shades
of David Lynchian mystery, to
spoofs, dramas, a sci-fi flick and
some coming-of-age stories.
The POV festival premieres
the works of UBC's 32 film production program students in
their third and fourth years and
draws a crowd of approximately
1,300 people annually, including
filmmakers and other industry
They come out to the festival
knowing graduates of the program
have a long history of success in
film production. For example,
1990 graduate Mina Shum's first
feature film, Double Happiness,
about a Chinese-Canadian girl
struggling with her family's traditional expectations, premiered
at the Toronto International Film
Festival and featured Sandra Oh
from Grey's Anatomy, who won a
Genie for Best Actress for her performance in the film.
Despite a long legacy of success, the festival's days might be
numbered. The UBC film production program, which originally
closed admissions for one year
for a re-structuring of the curriculum, has delayed the re-opening
of admissions  for  an  indefinite
amount of time as the Arts Faculty
attempts to deal with a cut of $3.2
million related to UBC's larger
budget deficit.
As a result, the future of UBC's
film production program and
the POV festival, which depends
on the work of students in the
program, is in limbo but festival
producer and fourth-year film program student Cat Mills says that
"different groups will be coming
out to protest this." @
Sounds of
Sound of Silver
by David Harakal
James Murphy returns with his
alter ego, LCD Soundsystem, and
drops a mammoth sophomore
album, Sound of Silver. Picking
up where his self-titled album
ended two years ago, he keeps
the heavy analog synths, deep,
pounding bass lines, and awkward
monotone lyrics to deliver the
perfect mix of dance, punk, and
funk for another night out to "lose
your head."
Deeply rooted in early eighties techno, this new record skitters and throbs like a lava lamp
on a desk next to a vibrating bed.
"Get Innocuous" opens the album
and is anything but. It starts slow
and keeps building until everything around you syncs up with
the beat. The whole world falls
under Murphy's magic spell right
from the start and takes about 60
minutes to wear off. "Time to Get
Away" maintains that vibe and is
one of the best songs on the album, bound to be heard banging
in clubs across the globe along
with the third track, "North American Scum," which is set to be the
first single. This one has Murphy
trying to make us realize that "for
those of you who still think we're
from England, we're not, no."
The album begins to slow
down after this track and while
still very good, there was nothing that impressive until the title
track "Sound of Silver" brings
things up to speed again with a
chugging locomotive baseline
that could blow your speakers if
pumped past nine.
No one seems to know what
the title Sound of Silver actually
means. I like to think it's the silver
magnesium that audiotape used to
have when it was used on recording machines back in the day. And
the sound of this silver sounds
pretty damn good. This music will
move you, probably more so on
the dancefloor than in any other
way, but whatever. Luckily LCD
is playing at the Commodore
next month and this show is sure
to sell out. Some record stores I
called have already sold all their
tickets. So get one fast and then
get innocuous as you shake it on
the dancefloor like there's no tomorrow—because that's what this
music was made for. @


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