A matter of anti-matter

Prof. Eric Hessels, Canada Research Chair in Atomic Physics at York University, was interviewed by CBC “Quirks and Quarks” host Bob McDonald Nov. 2 about anti-matter. Hessels is one of a group of physicists at CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, whose breakthrough in producing anti-hydrogen, the anti-matter form of hydrogen, made headlines. McDonald asked Hessels what are the big questions he wants to answer now. Hessels: “One of the big questions is about the symmetry between hydrogen and anti-hydrogen. Why is the universe all made of matter rather than anti-matter? If the two are exactly symmetrical, one might expect that the Big Bang would have produced equal amounts of each. And if it did, they might all annihilate and there may be no universe here at all. So no one really understands exactly why there’s so much matter and so little anti-matter in the universe. And perhaps we’ll get a clue of that if we study anti-matter.”

Horváth appointed to choose outstanding CEO

The Caldwell Partners, RBC Capital markets, CTV and National Post announced the appointment of Dezsö J. Horváth to Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year (Trademark) Board of Directors for 2002 in the National Post Nov. 5. Horváth is the Tanna H. Schulich Chair in Strategic Management, dean of the Schulich School of Business, and director of Dofasco Inc., Westport Innovations Inc. and Export Development Canada, among other positions. The Outstanding CEO Award recognizes a CEO judged by peers to have boosted Canada’s global competitiveness and has a sense of vision, leadership, social responsibility, corporate performance and innovation.

Award for green building design

Keen Engineering won an award of excellence for design of York University’s Computer Science Building at the 2002 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards presented recently in Toronto, reports Eco/Log Week Nov. 4. A similar award went to Calgary engineering designers for the University of Calgary’s information and communication technology building. Both buildings were recognized for their “green” designs, representing the increasing incorporation of environmentally sound principles into academic building design.

Time out for school worth it

“For those who are pursuing an education for the sake of an education…the value and return on investment can actually be infinite in satisfaction…. [And] investing in education pays off over time and on a present-value basis, although not immediately upon graduation. As long as you anticipate a moderate raise in salary from your new degree, over the long term it is probably worthwhile going back to school,” writes Moshe Arye Milevsky, finance professor at the Schulich School of Business, in a column on the value of taking time out to get an MBA or other graduate degree, National Post Nov. 1.

Picture Paul Martin at Osgoode

Osgoode continues to surface as the platform on which prime minister wannabe Paul Martin outlined his reform proposals Oct. 21. This time it pops up in a London Free Press Nov. 5 story called “Reform revisited”.

New  marketing communications program

Schulich School of Business and the Association of Canadian Advertisers will introduce a new marketing communications program in January, reports Marketing Magazine Oct. 14. The masters certificate in marketing communications management is aimed at mid- to upper-level marketing managers and is the first of its kind in Canada, according to ACA President and CEO Ron Lund. It will run for 12 days over a six-month period and take in 25 participants. The program will concentrate on strategic marketing communications, market research, critical thinking, leadership skills, legal issues and future directions.

York confers honours

Former lieutenant-governor Hilary Weston and retired British diplomat Sir Brian Fall received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from York University, reported Broadcast News Nov. 1.

Cultural gaps can have health repercussions

“In Turkey, we don’t have family physicians that screen us and then refer us to a specialist,” Ayse Uskul told The Toronto Star in a Nov. 2 story on professionals reaching out to ethnic groups. Uskul is in her fourth year as a PhD student in psychology at York and studying cultural differences and health care. “If you have a menstrual problem, you’d immediately go to a gynecologist. But here, I feel that my physician has to agree whether I should be referred to a specialist or not. At the beginning I couldn’t understand this. I thought it was time-consuming. Like, why don’t you refer me right away?”

Big, bold women tackle fat taboo

They prance on to the stage in black leotards, every roll, ripple and rotundity on defiant display as they boogie with birthday cakes, begins The Toronto Star story Nov. 2 on Pretty Porky and Pissed Off. The troupe, rehearsing for a cabaret performance at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, began as a street protest organized by York University doctoral student Allyson Mitchell. “Bringing it into the open, showing the hidden, takes away some of its power over us.”

Our fate in genes

Margaret Visser, who taught classics at York for years, is giving the Massey Lectures this year, reported the National Post Nov. 2. They are titled “Beyond Fate”. Perhaps the strongest evidence of our resurgent fatalism is found in the increasing emphasis we place on genetics. “People feel they’re genetically determined. “It’s a total misunderstanding of the scientific discoveries about genes. People do feel genes are little people making them do things. It’s totally ridiculous, but that’s how people feel,” Visser told the Post.

Canadian suffragettes more staid

Janice Newton, reported The Toronto Star Nov. 3 in a story on the ladylike battle for the vote in Canada, teaches a course called the “Politics of the Canadian Women’s Movement” at York. Prominent suffragette Nellie McClung didn’t throw stones at her opponents, she explained. Instead she flung stinging barbs to turn the anti-vote for women argument on its ear, wrote the Star. “Nellie McClung was the queen of satire.”

Calling James McKellar

Calgary’s chief financial officer is recommending the city establish an ad hoc working group to determine how to approach redevelopment of the East Village. He suggests seeking the advice of James McKellar, executive director external relations of Schulich School of Business and director of the school’s program in real property, reports The Calgary Herald Nov. 3.

If it ain’t broke . . .

A column in The Gazette (Montreal) Nov. 4 examines opinions about living next to an elephant. Voices on the left, such as Daniel Drache, director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, say the market-oriented NAFTA has failed to invest in social and human capital, writes Peter Hadekel.

Few small firms use Net fully: study

Ron McClean, a professor at Schulich School of Business and director of a study by the Canadian e-Business Initiative that showed only half of Canada’s small businesses are using Internet business applications, told The Ottawa Citizen Nov. 2: “We believe the findings point to a real need to drive awareness of the potential financial benefits of e-business solutions and to educate Canada’s SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) population on the tools to implement a successful Internet-based strategy.”

Bullying in BC

In a story on bullying printed Nov. 2 in the Northern Daily News produced for the Vancouver Sun, the findings of a 1995 study by Debra Peplar, York University psychology professor, and Wendy Craig, a University of Toronto psychologist, formed the basis of many of the statistics mentioned.