Matt Dusk seduced by swing-era songs

Just 26, crooner Matt Dusk was seduced by swing-era songs as a teenager while taking classes with Oscar Peterson at York University, reported The Review in Niagara Falls Aug. 5, the day before the Toronto-born singer performed at the Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery amphitheatre. “I was very fortunate at York University to be trained by an experienced old cat who played with the best, including Billie Holiday. He didn’t have a voice left in him, but he could phrase a lyric so well it didn’t matter. When I heard that, I was like, ‘This is what music is.’ Music is a way of communicating a story to somebody, and music nowadays is so explicit it doesn’t leave the listener an ability to add their personality to what they’re hearing.” The Standard in St. Catharines also published an interview Aug. 5 with Dusk, who graduated from York with a bachelor of fine arts in 2002.

Diet market is fat – and fickle, says prof

Despite knowing the tried-and-true way to lose weight is to eat less and move more, people continue to look for the easy way out, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 5. That tendency to take the trouble-free road is what the weight loss industry is counting on, says Alan Middleton, professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business. While the diet market is huge – and continuing to grow – it’s also fickle, says Middleton. “It’s up and down like a yo-yo,” he laughs. “A lot of people start diets,” says Middleton. “Very few people stay on them … (That’s why) there are fad diets upon fad diets upon fad diets. Every year we must have a new fad diet.” He says, “it doesn’t matter how smart or rational we are, we look for things that may help make us more acceptable to ourselves. We know it’s unlikely to work, we know it’s likely a con, but we always think, ‘there may be a faint chance it works for me.'”

Survival in the antiques trade requires an ‘eye’

People who love furniture believe it would be swell to have a store, particularly if they sold “classy” antique furniture, wrote columnist Kelvin Browne in the National Post Aug. 4. But running an antique store isn’t as fun as it looks, he wrote, and cited the experience of York grad Viki Mansell, owner of Absolutely and, with a partner, Absolutely North, two antique stores on Yonge Street, near Rosedale. “It may look more rarified than some businesses,” explained Mansell, “but it’s still a small business. Regardless of how good your accountant is or how dedicated your staff, you ultimately have responsibility for everything. I’m often lugging things in my car from the auction house to the upholsterer.” Mansell also has a great eye. She can spot a gem in a pile of drek. You can’t learn to have an eye – you’re born with it or you’re not. But if you have one, you can educate it. Mansell earned a BA in fine arts from York University in 1974 and studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. She has also visited every museum, attended hundreds of auctions, estate sales and antique fairs and, most importantly, read every decor magazine for the last 20 years.