York astronomer’s radio telescope art gets honourable mention

A spooky image of an enormous eye peering out of the Milky Way galaxy has won Canadian astronomers top prize in a contest that mixes science with a generous dose of art, reported CanWest News Service Oct. 17. The image contest is part of efforts by the Associated Universities, Inc. – the research corporation that operates two radio observatories for the US National Science Foundation – to make radio astronomy, which studies radio emissions from objects in the universe, more accessible to both scientists and the general public. Three of the five honorary mentions in this year’s contest went to Canadian astronomers at the University of BC and York University. One image, by Michael Bietenholz of York’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science & Engineering, shows the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, the brightest radio source in the sky, as a massive blue fireball hanging over the horizon.

‘Like going to a brain gym’

One of the strongest motivations for parents in sending their child to a private or independent school is to give the child a head start in life, wrote The Globe and Mail Oct. 17. And having a strong second language is a key component of that head start. “Being bilingual is like going to a brain gym,” says York University psychologist Ellen Bialystok of York’s Faculty of Health.

Dead, innocent, black, white

Days after police arrested nine suspects this summer in the high-profile shooting death of 15-year-old Jane Creba, Sandra Walters called the homicide detective investigating her own daughter’s murder, wrote The Toronto Star Oct. 17. With a sadness that turned her voice to a quiet rasp, she posed one question: “If my daughter was white, would anything be different?”

That’s a question many in Toronto’s black community have been asking since June, but for detectives still on the case – stymied by silence from those who know who killed Chantel Dunn – the answer is a resounding “no.” Det. Wayne Fowler has been working on the Dunn case since Feb. 6, when gunfire claimed the life of the cheerful, 19-year-old York University student who dreamed of a career in law.