Why do stars and planets rotate?

“[R]otation of the solar nebula and the rotation of the planets and the stars within are a very natural consequence of the collapse of the big dust cloud,” explains Paul Delaney, physics and astronomy professor, to CBC Radio “Quirks and Quarks” host Bob McDonald on the Sept. 21 show.

Emmy for Cirque

Debra Brown, a York dance graduate, has won an Emmy for her work as the principal choreographer for the Cirque du Soleil, in particular for the performance at last year’s Academy Awards.

Provocation at Concordia

“Obviously the importance of maintaining free speech is crucial. … At the same point there are times when people under the label of free speech engage in provocation. That is, it’s become symbolic and it seems to me that if a meeting was being held where most of the seats were being occupied by one side of the issue and there was no opportunity to very little opportunity for debate and discussion then that is a provocation. Especially when students are kept away from areas that they normally occupy in their daily activity around the university,” said Leo V. Panitch, York Distinguished Research Professor and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, Sept. 22 during a Global TV panel discussion moderated by Peter Kent. The discussion was about the violence that resulted in the cancellation of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech Sept. 9. Panitch’s remarks were also reported in The Calgary Herald Sept. 23.

Potential for abuse

When a judge’s remark about how a cat was hanged, tortured and slit open was left out of the official court transcript, more than cat lovers were outraged. The missing line turns the spotlight on the quietly accepted practice of “judicial editing,” allowing judges to make changes to their judgments. Alan Young, law professor, says it’s a practice that has to stop, reports The Toronto Star Sept. 22. “The point of having a record is to freeze history at a certain point in time, even if there are mistakes. You can’t go back and reconstruct history after the fact. Otherwise there is a potential for abuse.”

Maori gender discrimination?

“Now, the question arises as to whether the general rule that women do not deliver the formal speeches is discrimination based on gender. Is this practice, as one Member of Parliament recently suggested, part of a culture degrades women? I don’t think that is the case, but then that may be easy for me to say, after all I’m not Maori woman. …It is an issue that Maori must consider and discuss within our own terms of reference, and it is definitely no appropriate for non-Maori to impose their view of the world on us,” writes York graduate student and New Zealand Maori Carwyn Jones, The North Bay Nugget Sept. 21.

Cars ruin everything

On Sept. 21, Toronto Star columnist Jim Coyle quotes Edmund Fowler, political science professor, about how cars have changed everything for the worse: “[R]eliance on the car for urban travel is harming the environment, our personal health, the vitality of our local economies, our sense of community, our political intelligence, our children, and whatever attempts we make to create a just and equitable society.”

Right to use pot

Alan Young, law professor and lawyer representing those who use marijuana for medical purposes, commented on his clients’ suit against the government to CBC Radio reporter Derek Stoffel, “My clients are definitely caught in terms of the change in policy and the changing of tides. A lot of people were promised that the government would be attending to their specific medical needs sometime early this year.”

Romantic Gems

“The most satisfying aspect of the piano recital by York University music professor Christina Petrowska Quilico is the chosen repertoire: 32 miniatures,” writes The Ottawa Citizen’s reviewer Sept. 22 of her new CD.