Marketing to wealthier, healthier seniors

Roger Heeler, a marketing professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, talked about marketing to the new senior citizen, in a Globe & Mail story Oct. 11. Said Heeler, “There is some recognition in the market that not all people over 65 want to sit in a coach with 30 other seniors and two 20-year-old guides and be shown the sights they shouldn’t miss before they pass from the mortal coil.” Healthier, wealthier, better educated and with more free time than previous generations, the 50-plus crowd is now driving the travel industry, said the article.

Nobel prize candidate

Haideh Moghissi, a sociology professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was quoted in a Globe & Mail Oct. 11 story on the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Iranian-born women’s-rights advocate Shirin Ebadi. Moghissi said Ebadi is one of many activists who have succeeded in rolling back policies prejudicial to women. “She has been more courageous than many,” she said, noting Iran’s less than gleaming attitude toward women’s rights. Moghissi also commented on Ebadi’s Nobel prize on CTV’s national “News” Oct. 10.

A craving for cads

The work of York University PhD psychology student Maryanne Fisher, Faculty of Arts, was noted in a Hamilton Spectator Oct. 14 story on how far women have evolved when it comes to picking their men. On the “dads and cads” issue, Fisher and fellow researchers used character types from the British Romantic period to test out theories that women would choose “cads” for short-term relationships and “dads” for long-term relationships. Women in the study were read passages from novels by Walter Scott and Ann Radcliffe focusing on characters who are considered prototypical dads and cads. There was a dark hero, “typically a violent, rebellious outlaw,” and a proper hero who is kind and altruistic. Overall, the women preferred proper hero “dads” for long-term relationships, but the shorter the relationship, the more likely women were to choose dark hero “cads.”

Sounding the alarm on surveillance state

Jim Laxer, political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, told the Edmonton Journal he is deeply concerned about the rise of a surveillance state with the passage of so-called anti-terrorism legislation in Canada and the US. In an Oct. 14 article, the author of The Border: Canada, the U.S. and Dispatches from the 49th Parallel said: “We have gone down a very dark road over the past two years in the name of security. I would have thought that we would have learned from previous experiences, like the internment of the Japanese during the Second World War, that targeting an ethnic group is a terrible thing to do. I’m astonished at how little hue and cry there is about what’s going on. We treasure our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Americans cherish their Bill of Rights, but we have these national security laws that just do an end run around them.” He warned that Canada’s sovereignty is under attack by right-wing forces pushing for deep integration with the US.

Pot bill will empower police

Alan Young, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, told several newspapers – including The Edmonton Journal and Regina’s The Star Phoenix Oct. 12 – that with Bill C-38 the federal government is passing the buck to unelected beat cops by making them decide if pot possession is criminal. Young also joined a panel discussion about Canada’s marijuana reform on Global TV’s “Global Sunday” Oct. 12.

Gene researchers look for perfect turkey

Peter Moens, biology professor in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, was quoted in a Toronto Star Oct. 13 story on how gene mapping for the perfect turkey is currently being cooked up by researchers. The success of US researchers in completing a preliminary map of the turkey’s genome was announced in the current issue of the Canadian scientific journal, Genome, of which Moens is science editor. “People can start filling in the gaps and eventually look for specific genes,” said Moens.

Service sector with a smile

Monica Belcourt, administrative studies professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, was quoted in a Toronto Star Oct. 11 story on how the service sector isn’t just waiting tables, but accounts for 50 per cent of total employment in Ontario. Belcourt, who is also a human resource management professor and president of the Human Resource Professional Association of Ontario (HRPAO) said: “People who work in service [jobs] are generous to others and excited and caring toward their jobs.”

Mortgage sense

Findings in a study by Moshe Milevsky, finance professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, were cited in a Globe & Mail Oct. 14 article on mortgage security. The Globe compared his study, conducted for Manulife Financial in 2000, and a recent study by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The CMHC study suggests that the security of a five-year mortgage is little or nothing beyond a riskier variable-rate mortgage, providing you get a jumbo-sized rate discount. Milevsky found that extra interest charged on a five-year mortgage would have cost $20,000 between 1950 and 2000 on a $100,000 mortgage amortized over 15 years.