York chancellor on new Harbourfront Reading Series board

The Harbourfront Reading Series and its International Festival of Authors announced a new board of directors that includes publisher and York University Chancellor Avie Bennett, reported the National Post Sept. 25. Bennett, chairman of McClelland & Stewart, will serve as president of the new board. The board replaces five members, including authors Jane Urquhart and Rohinton Mistry, who resigned in July after the departure of artistic director Greg Gatenby.

Why corruption makes headlines in Canada

The Toronto Star’s Jim Travers cites Wes Cragg, ethics professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, in a Sept. 25 column on corruption in Canada. In Canada, points out Travers, “police don’t demand bribes, judges are independent and kickback is a dirty word. Those standards are so deeply entrenched that it’s headline news when they aren’t met. As Wes Cragg points out, that puts this northern nation in an enviable place in the anti-corruption continuum.” According to the Star, Cragg said a century of critical introspection and determined effort have created the robust institutions that foster equity and fair play. “We have come a long way,” he said, “but we still have a long way to go.”

Canada birthplace of first personal computer

Canada is the birthplace of the first personal computer, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 25. It was the size of a typical typewriter of its time and used a cassette tape instead of a floppy disk to store data. But it was “capable of running many useful applications,” said Zbigniew Stachniak, computer science professor in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science. The Globe cited his article about the MCM-70 Microcomputer – unveiled by Micro Computer Machines 30 years ago today – published in a recent issue of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, a respected journal based in the United States. “It was remarkable to me that they envisioned the need for computers for personal use,” Stachniak said. “They saw people as the target, not only corporations, not only the governments, but that we would require computers on our desks.”

York student runs for NDP

NDP candidate Stacy Douglas, a fourth-year York University student who is running her campaign from her dorm room, is realistic about her chances in Scarborough-Agincourt provincial riding, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 25. “I’m in a riding where I don’t think it’s a surprise there is not a lot of NDP support. There is some,” said Douglas, 22, who is studying environmental and women’s studies. “Our goal is to put some of the issues that the NDP is concerned with on the table.” That means tenants’ and women’s rights and keeping public services in public hands, she said.

On air

  • Natasha Ramsahai, York alumna and meteorologist on Toronto 1, showed the photos of her modelling for the cover of YorkU magazine’s launch issue, on “Toronto Today” (CKXT-TV) Sept. 24.
  • Fred Lazar, professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, discussed how, despite a drop in travel to Canada, investors are lining up to buy a piece of Air Canada when it comes out of bankruptcy protection, on CBC Newsworld’s “NBN Early Edition” Sept. 24.