Those frisky bats

York biology Professor Brock Fenton says male bats are so frisky on waking during hibernation that they are not at all choosy about the identity of their partners. He was quoted in the Nov. 16 The Ottawa Citizen about photos of bat behaviour taken with advanced thermal imaging technology in caves at Renfew, near Ottawa, during a research project which he led. “They wake up, and then start jumping everything in sight – females, and often other males,” he says. Research also revealed for the first time that the body temperature of the mitosis lucifugus bats sinks much lower than scientists had previously imagined to be possible (-7 or -8 C).

Opium for the British romantics

“For the British romantics – Keats, Byron, Coleridge, Shelley, de Quincy – it was opium. For Proust, Guy de Maupassant and William James it was anesthetics – ether and nitrous oxide.” So began an article in the Nov. 16 Toronto Star, about a new book by York English Professor Marcus Boon, Faculty of Arts. “All this social, literary and pharmaceutical history is considered in thoughtful but engaging style by Marcus Boon…in The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs. “It’s way cool man,” the article ended.

Music to their ears

“Exposing my grandchildren to what I know and love is my contribution to family history, I reckon. But I hadn’t heard of Kids’ Klassics until I happened to meet York University Professor Elaine Newton (Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts),” says Sarah Jane Growe in a Nov. 16 Toronto Star column called “Grand People”. Growe quotes Newton: “There’s a difference when they can watch the music being played. We are the luckiest, luckiest city to have an orchestra that offers this experience to children.”